The Sustainable And Smart Office Building

  • November 25th, 2015

This office building, named the Edge, in Amsterdam knows exactly what you want, when you want it. It has been labelled the greenest building in the world – and is possibly the smartest.

When you arrive, you’re connected. The building automatically recognizes your car or bike and directs you to a parking spot.

Then the app finds you a desk. Because in this building, you don’t have one. Workspaces are based on your schedule (which again, the app checks) and your preference of work station. Perhaps you want a sitting desk, a standing desk, a balcony seat or a work booth. By using the app to give employees desks only as needed, the building can not only provide an employee’s desired working environment, but can accommodate more people in a much smaller footprint.

Once you start work, you can use the app to adjust the light of your individual workspace. Is it hot, or is it just me? You can also tweak the temperature until it’s just right for you too. Thanks to the building’s massive network of sensors – motion, light, temperature, humidity, infrared – the ‘digital ceiling’ works to make the building as efficient as possible as well as making it as comfortable as possible for its occupants.

Every workspace is within seven metres of a window. But you won’t get distracted by the sounds of the nearby highway or trains, since the specially designed roof mutes the noise. And every desk is also equipped with built-in wireless chargers so your phone can keep itself charged throughout the day.

Since employees don’t have assigned desks, lockers serve as a base for the day. Find a locker with a green light, flash your badge and it’s yours. Employees are discouraged from keeping a single locker for days or weeks because part of the philosophy is to break people away from their fixed locations and rigid ways of thinking.

The building knows when the espresso machine needs to be refilled, and the app also remembers how you like your coffee. Towel dispensers in the restroom track use, and heat maps of the bathrooms allow the janitors to monitor when they are especially busy and what toilets might need to be cleaned.

Even in the building’s gym you’re helping to reduce energy consumption. Some of the exercise machines will actually harness the energy from your workout, sending the hard-earned watts back to the grid.

After a long working day you can have a healthy meal at home, ready in no time. Via the app, employees can choose a dish in the daytime and the building’s food shop ensures you have the exact amount of necessary ingredients ready for picking up at the end of the day.

Equipped with super-efficient solar panels, the building generates enough energy to power all laptops and smartphones in the building and all the electric powered vehicles used by employees as well as drive the installation pumps used to heat/cool the building.

The sophisticated design, combined with smart and advanced technology has resulted in Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology (the world’s longest established method of assessing, rating, and certifying the sustainability of building) giving the building a 98.36% sustainability score – one of the highest on record.

Using information technology to shape both the way we work and the spaces in which we do it, the Edge is a taste of the buildings of the future. And we love every inch of it.