Microsoft Corporation

Thermal Energy Center

Transforming corporate campuses of the future with an all-electric, carbon-free design.

In 2018, Microsoft embarked on a ground-breaking project to revitalize its East Redmond corporate campus, marking a significant endeavor in their ongoing commitment to their employees, the community in Washington State’s Puget Sound region, and the environment.

Sustainability is at the forefront of the Campus’ modernized design by implementing green infrastructure solutions, minimizing environmental impacts, and tackling regional ecological challenges. The modernized campus design reduces energy and water use, eliminates carbon emissions, and safeguards ecosystems.

Due to AEI’s expertise in the Energy & Utility field and sustainable design, we were selected to assist the Client with creating its next-generation campus. As the Executive Engineer, AEI is responsible for defining the campus’ mechanical, electrical, and piping/plumbing engineering systems concepts and providing guidance and oversight to the design and construction project team members.

AEI also served as the Engineer of Record for the concept, design, and construction support of the all-electric district energy facility, the Thermal Energy Center (TEC), and associated thermal and electrical distribution systems completed in 2022.

AEI's in-depth understanding of energy systems and sustainable engineering profoundly shaped the TEC’s design, which integrates fully electric combined heating and cooling, thermal storage, geothermal well fields, and innovative control strategies to achieve a remarkable 50% energy reduction compared to traditional utility plants.

The TEC’s mechanical engineering systems efficiently transfer energy between systems and optimize energy usage, releasing energy to the atmosphere only when energy cannot be used or stored. To facilitate energy transfer, the TEC features heat pumps connected to the campus' heating and cooling demands, thermal energy storage tanks, and a geothermal field for heat collection and storage.


Redmond, WA


  • GLY Construction, Inc. - TEC Construction Manager
  • LMN Architects - Architect of Record
  • NBBJ - Design Architect
  • OAC Services, Inc. - Construction Manager

LEED Status

Pursuing LEED Platinum


  • 2023 ENR National, Best of the Best, Project of the Year
  • 2023 ENR National, Best of the Best, Energy/Industrial
  • 2023 NAIOP Washington State Chapter Night of the Stars Awards - Judges' Innovation Award
  • 2023 ENR Northwest Regional Best Energy/Industrial, Excellence in Sustainability, Award of Merit
  • 2023 ENR Northwest Regional, Project of the Year

Evaporative cooling towers dissipate excess heat in the absence of alternative storage methods, while electric boilers meet additional heating needs. By operating solely on electricity, the system eliminates the need for onsite fossil fuel consumption, aligning with the project's goal of running at zero net carbon and aiding in pursuing LEED certification.

electric combined heating & cooling plant

The TEC supplies 13 new buildings and will eventually serve four others.

This project embodies the Client’s global carbon reduction and sustainability goals. From the deconstruction and recycling of demolition waste to the cutting-edge design and integration of sustainable features, every aspect of the project contributes to a greener future. The TEC sets a pioneering standard for corporate campuses by demonstrating a carbon-free minimum-use approach to an energy plant, leading the way for others to emulate sustainable practices.

Nationally recognized for its pioneering sustainable design features, the TEC secured the esteemed 2023 ENR Best of the Best, Project of the Year, among other ENR Regional awards!

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energy reduction compared to traditional utility plants

At the core of Microsoft's dedication to sustainability, the TEC stands as an exemplary solution for electrification.

Project Leaders