The Edge , a 40,000-square-meter building in the ZuidAs business district of Amsterdam has been designed by PLP Architecture for Deloitte, the main tenant. It is being built by OVG Real Estate, the largest real estate technology company in the Netherlands.
The purpose of the building’s design is to help employees feel comfortable in any environment they work in. To facilitate this, thanks to an app on their smartphones, they can use the building’s system to ensure that lights and temperature are automatically set according to their preferences whenever they enter a room.
BREEAM reports that the Edge has been judged the world’s greenest office building, registering an outstanding score of 98.36%, and it is an exemplary example of sustainable, innovative and smart design.
The Edge building is the practical expression of the term “smarter”, because it’s not just a sustainable building, but also one of the most connected office spaces in Stockholm. The user experience involves an app that manages employees’ schedules and guides them through the building. Once the user arrives at the office, the building recognizes him and makes available a parking spot for all means of transport. In addition to normal parking spots, there are charging points for electric cars and bike stands.
The electric charging points in the building are supplied with energy by renewable sources, including solar panels. The building produces more energy than it consumes, mitigating its carbon footprint, while the southern façade is equipped with solar panels that shield the offices from direct sunlight while producing clean energy.
The Panels are used to make the Aquifer Thermal Energy Storage, which pumps hot and cold water from the ground to regulate heating. The Edge is designed to take advantage of every weather condition, including rain. To do so, it collects rainwater and uses it to flush toilets and irrigate the grounds.
The building’s 15-story atrium is entirely heated by the secondary air that comes from the offices, which rises to the top of the atrium and is released into the environment.
The property management company CBRE helped with the final phase of construction by educating general managers and tenants on the building’s capabilities, helping them understand what was possible and what could go wrong. With the sensors monitoring the energy usage, the buildings are able to predict failures in advance and solve problems proactively. The engineers no longer have to wait for failures or reports to arise, they can take a preventative approach to maintenance.
Data is collected and analyzed to determine how much energy is being consumed; for example, when there is no occupancy in a room and the HVAC and lighting systems are not being used, power is turned off which promotes sustainable practices.
This new sustainable workplace is forecasted to reduce energy consumption by 42 million kilograms of CO2 in 10 years compared to a normal office building, and the estimated energy consumption is less than 0.3 kWh/m2/yr. The 40,000m2 floor plate of the building has so far been rented at an average utilisation rate of 92.29%. Demand for this disruptive and innovative building is exceptionally high.
As with all innovative new technologies, not everything is perfect yet, but The Edge remains the most fully realized vision of “the internet of things” in the world. Opened in May 2015, it has already achieved multiple certifications such as: 2016 Global Award for Excellence, BREEAM Awards 2016 for Office New Construction, 2016 AIA Europe Design Awards in the Environmental Design Category.