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Sea of Thieves studio Rare reveals its new sustainable design building as part of Earth Day

rare building at Microsoft

Today is the annual celebration of Earth Day worldwide. It's a day set aside to give more awareness to environmental issues, including efforts by people and companies to support sustainable projects. As part of Earth Day 2024, Microsoft is putting a spotlight on Rare, the company-owned UK game developer that's created a ton of games over nearly 40 years, including their most current game, Sea of Thieves.

In a blog post, Microsoft announced that Rare has opened a new building on its Leicestershire campus. The nearly 13,000-square-foot building is called Barn X and it was designed and made from the ground up with sustainability in mind.

For starters, Barn X is made completely of timber and is the first mass timber building in Europe for any Microsoft Xbox development studio. Microsoft added:

The inner timber structure for Barn X was locally sourced, but the exterior cladding timber is New Zealand Accoya. While this comes with more airmiles, the Accoya will last for 60 years without the need for varnish or paint finishing coat.

The building is also powered in part by over 8,000 square feet of solar panels located in a field near Barn X. In addition, the building's toilets are flushed with the use of condensate water from chillers.

In addition to all the environmentally conscious parts of Barn X, Rare also wanted the building to help its employees with their well-being. Microsoft said:

All staff can adjust their desk lighting exactly as they like it, and there are spaces for them to find pockets of calm or privacy. The decor has been deliberately pitched to be calming, not overwhelming, but still to provide stimulation.

The new building is part of Microsoft's overall goal for the company to become carbon-negative and water-positive, along with creating zero waste, by 2030.

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