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Rare Opens New Sustainable Building, Barn X

Rare Opens New Sustainable Building, Barn X - News

by William D'Angelo , posted on 01 May 2024 / 2,035 Views

Xbox Game Studio developer Rare announced it has opened a new sustainable building called Barn X.

Barn X runs purely on electricity and is Xbox’s first mass timber building in Europe, which is designed to lock in carbon over the decades, creating a much lower carbon footprint than materials such as concrete or steel.

The new building "uses condensate water from chillers to help flush its toilets, saving on water usage and repurposing water which otherwise would have gone to waste. Its pitched roof also houses advanced cooling and ventilation services."

Rare also now has 750 square meters of solar panels in a nearby field to offset of some of the studio's energy consumption. 

"We asked ourselves, 'What might the gaming studio of the future look like?'" said Rare Studio Head Craig Duncan.

Director of Sustainability and Research at RKD Sean Hogan added, "Whereas if you source locally, a softer wood such as birch or larch, it will need a sealer because it’s a softer material. And It will probably need switching out within 15 years, too, potentially three times over the service life of the building."

Barn X is part of Microsoft's commitment to become carbon negative, water positive, and zero waste by 2030.


A life-long and avid gamer, William D'Angelo was first introduced to VGChartz in 2007. After years of supporting the site, he was brought on in 2010 as a junior analyst, working his way up to lead analyst in 2012 and taking over the hardware estimates in 2017. He has expanded his involvement in the gaming community by producing content on his own YouTube channel and Twitch channel. You can contact the author on Twitter @TrunksWD.


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9 Comments
The Fury (on 22 April 2024)

"Barn X runs on electricity ..." ahuh, okay.

  • +5
trunkswd The Fury (on 22 April 2024)

Updated the article. Direct quote from the announcement from Rare is "Barn X runs purely on electricity..."

  • +5
Mr Puggsly (on 23 April 2024)

I don't care if they burned coal and poured toxic waste in the ocean. Just make some fucking games, I don't care about their ESG score.

  • +2
firebush03 (on 22 April 2024)

okay so Microsoft seems to be fixing some problems: Toys for Bob & Blizzard have been freed from Activision (change isn’t always good, but sounds like things have progresses well in both instances) with TFB now working on a new unannounced title, and now Rare seems to be getting some care from Microsoft (albeit, a single building isn’t the biggest thing of all time…but it’s better to see than nothing).

Let’s see now if Microsoft can get a new Spyro, Crash, Banjo, and Conker. If they can do this with quality in each release, then XBSX might just be the first Xbox I purchase…but that’s being very generous to and optimistic about Microsoft.

  • +2
Azzanation (on 22 April 2024)

Cannot wait for their next game. Suprise me Rare

  • +1
SuntannedDuck2 (on 22 April 2024)

Looks fine. Ideas and conversation with this approach may work. I love how 'look it's very effective and how professional sounding good the place will be' yeah sure I'm really listening and going yep I bet it will.

Also the sustainability line in there later on. Which is totally fine but I think that point was clear and I don't not expect it. I'm not fussed whether it is or isn't but some people are.

I think these methods can work but I don't think they are fool proof and I think some sound proofing/distance of rooms helps. Not just oh we have walls it's so suffocating. Like I don't look at say a movie set journalist or office cubicles and go wow how suffocating if it's a 4 people each space kind of thing but enough space between them kind of thing then 1 person per cubicle design.

Point is being open is fine but depending on the person talking and if messaging digitally to other staff about something/sending a project not just say a design on paper as of course some projects can be sent over not just always calling someone over. Yes I have been watching or remembering too much of what happens in New Game the anime. XD

The place looks 'fine' the chess and openness looks fine. The place looks like any sort of plant and modern generic location. The outside in a way has it's differences.

Will it inspire, maybe. Will it do much maybe. I mean you can't always have paints or sculptures or this and that to inspire or make it look nice/fill in space.

I mean to me I come up with ideas randomly or from other games or from browsing or a situation or probably a test environment (in my head or if I made it in a powerpoint back in the day then a game engine) for how the character could move, the items they would use, what the level design looks like.

I don't even make games I just think them up in my spare time so my inspiration isn't coming from a new building. XD It's just how I spend my time.

  • 0
Qwark (on 22 April 2024)

Pretty cool of Microsoft for going the extra mile, they could also have made a box that just complies with the standard rules. Instead they really made an effort here. Although when seeing the project in birdview I do think, was it really that difficult to put the solar panels on the roof. The field kind a seems like a waste of space.

  • 0
Goomba (on 23 April 2024)

"Good" thing a game studio aims for the future but not with the games, you know...those things that gives them reason to exist, identity, and also money.

  • -2
tslog (on 22 April 2024)

God that external building is so ugly, and the insides are only slightly less so. That something so ugly could inspire fun is just the dumbest propaganda.

  • -2