When Buildings Get Smart

When someone says Amsterdam, what do you think? Many things, I’m sure. A lot of which we can’t discuss right now, but I would bet my bottom dollar that you don’t think energy efficiency as your first thought. This is where you would be wrong. Take a journey with me, down the gorgeous bicycle-filled streets of Amsterdam. With 2.4 million inhabitants in its metropolitan area, Amsterdam has truly put sustainability first. One of the most fascinating buildings in Amsterdam, scratch that, the world, is called The Edge. The Edge is nestled safely among the streets of Amsterdam’s business district, Zuidas. The Edge holds the highest sustainability rating, ever, awarded to an office building with an outstanding 98.4%.

When Buildings Get Smart

How is that possible you’re wondering? Sit back and I will fill you in on the wonder that is The Edge.

The Edge was designed for popular financial firm, Deloitte. Deloitte requested a building that would help them transition into a digital age. They got exactly what they were looking for. Everything in the building works together, from the load bearing walls to the chargers in the parking garage for electric vehicles and everything in between. The Edge has so many incredible features packed inside its 4 walls:

Fifteen Story Atrium with floor to ceiling windows

The gravitational center of the building. Mesh paneling was put in between each floor to create natural ventilation for the building

Shared workspaces that are matched to each specific person’s schedule

Inside of The Edge only 1,000 desks are available, but no single person has their own induvial and dedicated office. Each day based on the schedule of each employee they can choose their best fit for the day.

An app with a complete dashboard to control individual preferences and more

Temperature control and lighting levels can be accessed and saved here

Bicycle Parking

Fun fact, there are almost double as many bikes in Amsterdam as there are people

Electric Car Charging Stations in the parking garage
Solar Panels on the southern wall of the building and the roof

This allows The Edge the honor of being able to boast about producing more energy than it consumes, making it the largest collection of solar panels on any European office building

Long blue tubes that hold water

Water is delivered via these blue tubes to and from the building subterranean water storage for heading and cooling

LED sensors that report details of temperature and humidity readings on each floor
Repurposed collected rainwater to flush the buildings toilets and water the gardens

The ecological corridor is home to many birds, bats, bees and bugs. There is a continuous path of vegetation that supports beneficial insects and creatures.

Robocop patrols the building at night

A small robot takes the night watch and patrols the grounds, sending photos back to security

Roomba on steroids

The Edge’s version of a Roomba knows exactly where it should be cleaning. Data is fed to the little robot at the end of the day so he knows which areas were most heavily used during the day and he (or she) can focus there

Out of soap?

Don’t worry, The Edge’s bathrooms are equipped to send information to the cleaning staff, so they know when a clean up is needed

I could go into so much more detail about each individual incredible component The Edge offers to its 2,500 employees but I know the most important question right now, is how. How did The Edge become the front runner for sustainable buildings?

The Edge has an entire network of smart technology through LED light panels developed by Phillips. Every light in the building becomes its own connected internet data hub. Not only does this increase productivity and ease of daily activities but it also makes the building smarter. With over 430,000 square feet of space, The Edge has done what once seemed completely impossible. They have created a sustainable building simply using technology that starts with the lighting. Each light in the building not only provides ample quality lighting and customization but an entirely smart network that works with every function of the building. No one thing is dedicated to only that sole function. There are so many moving parts at The Edge, but each piece works closely with the others to create a seamless and stress-free working environment. So much so that Deloitte has seen a large increase in applicants that want to come work at The Edge.