Boulder’s SparkFun open-sources new $10.5 million headquarters

Long a proponent of open source hardware, Boulder’s SparkFun Electronics has not shied away from sharing the guts of its products with the greater web.

“Products designed by SparkFun engineers are released with schematics and firmware under a Creative Commons license,” Christopher Clark, SparkFun director of information technology, wrote last fall in a post on “For all the new electronics SparkFun has produced over the years, the company doesn’t hold a single patent.”

The DIY company’s founder, Nathan Seidle, believes that a reliance on patents and intellectual property can make companies “intellectually unfit.”

SparkFun on Monday took that transparency and community engagement to a different type of hardware: The company’s new 80,000-square-foot headquarters facility that is set to be built this year.

SparkFun employee Will Talbott solders serial LCDs on March 4, 2013, at SparkFun Electronics in Boulder. Jeremy Papasso/ Camera

SparkFun employee Will Talbott solders serial LCD’s on Monday, March 4, 2013, at SparkFun Electronics in Boulder. Jeremy Papasso/ Camera

In a blog post titled “How to Build a Building,” Seidle shared a very detailed background — including maps, floorplans, loan schedule, construction specs and LEED efforts — on the $10.5 million project:

“How much will the doors for the building cost? About $68,000. How much sheetrock and metal studs? About $475,000. How much does it cost to build a 38’ building with 80,000 sq ft? About $7,037,354. This number doesn’t include a few other large expenses namely:

  • Land
  • Architecture, engineering, design, testing and commissioning fees
  • Solar array
  • IT/Security

The total bill looks to be about $10,500,000 with monthly payments to be about $70,000 a month. $10M is a terrifying number but to put it in perspective, this is part of the calculated plan for the next 20 years of SparkFun. I’m ready to invest now to be sure we have a good work environment with space to grow.”

About Alicia Wallace

Alicia Wallace is the business reporter for the Boulder Daily Camera.
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3 Responses to Boulder’s SparkFun open-sources new $10.5 million headquarters

  1. Thaddeus says:

    Remarkable! Its in fact remarkable paragraph, I have got much clear idea concerning from this piece of writing.

  2. A very informative location. The way you have share this minutia and numbers is actually very appreciative. desire to glimpse more on this topic here. Thanks for posting this facts and figures here.

  3. Home Loan says:

    wow! 10.5 million dollar headquarters.. I wonder if this company will be going public anytime soon

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