Using material from the Orca quarry
Apple’s new spaceship-style headquarters in Cupertino, Calif. will be a four-storey showcase of green design featuring curved glass and apple orchards in the large outdoor courtyard.
It’s being built using sand and gravel from a quarry at the northern tip of Vancouver Island.
The Apple campus is one of several landmark structures in the San Francisco area constructed using material from the Orca quarry west of Port McNeill, which is run by Vancouver-based Polaris Minerals.
“One of the treats about the aggregate industry is that you actually get to see where your products go, unlike gold, where it just disappears into this opaque market,” company founder Marco Romero said during a recent interview at his Vancouver office.
Polaris products were also used for the new San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge (which displaced the Port Mann as the world’s widest), a seismic retrofit of the Golden Gate Bridge and San Francisco’s Millennium tower, one of the tallest residential buildings west of the Mississippi.
Since the quarry opened in 2007, the company has become a premier supplier of high-quality sand and gravel for concrete used in California markets. The company also ships sand to Hawaii, where laws ban the use of beach sand for concrete.