The Edge, a 40,000m² office building located in the Zuidas business district in Amsterdam. Well, while the Edge didn’t win the tag for the most beautiful building in the world, it did bag 98 out of 100 points from the British rating agency BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology). The Edge is the world’s greenest office building and it has been inspiring the world since its doors opened in 2015.
Let’s explore this amazing building today and understand what makes it the greenest and the most sustainable building in the world.
The Edge – Quick Snapshot
- Architects – PLP Architecture
- Location – The Zuidas, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
- Interior Design – Fokkema & Partners
- Total Area – 40000.0 m2
- Project Year – 2015
The Edge, Worlds Greenest Office Building –10 Interesting Things
In addition to being the world’s greenest office building, the Edge is probably the niftiest, too. This green office knows how much energy it’s consuming, when the bathrooms need cleaning, and how many parking spots are empty at any point in time. Interesting isn’t it? Well certainly there is something about this very building that sets it apart from buildings with similar origins — but what? Let’s dig deep in:
1. Ambition Of The Edge
The Edge, Deloitte’s new offices in Zuidas, Amsterdam’s business center was designed by PLP Architecture and developed by OVG Real Estate, the largest real estate technology company in the Netherlands. The project had 2 main ambitions:
- To consolidate Deloitte’s employees, who were previously spread across multiple buildings throughout the city within one single environment.
- Create a ‘smart building’, which serves as a catalyst for Deloitte’s shift into the digital age.
The Edge is a practical expression of sustainability and innovation.
2. Prestigious Nods From BREEAM
According to BREEAM, the Edge is the world’s greenest office building. Snatching the title from One Embankment Place in London, UK, the Edge not only bagged the BREEAM Office New Construction Award in the year 2016 but also maxed closely the system’s 100-point scale with an outstanding and record-breaking score of 98.36 percent.
Note: BREEAM, is an approach for evaluating and rating the sustainability of buildings which takes into consideration criteria like energy and water use, materials used, waste management processes, and transport links.
3. Other Awards Won
In addition to the BREEAM accolade, the Edge also won:
- 2016 Urban Land Institute Global Awards for Excellence Winner
- 2016 BREEAM Award – Offices – New Construction
- 2016 Your BREEAM Award
- 2016 FGH Vastgoedprijs (Finalist)
- 2016 British Expertise International Awards: Outstanding International Architecture Project (Shortlisted)
- 2015 AIA Continental Europe Awards Environmental Design Award
- 2015 Blueprint Awards
- Best Sustainable Design Category (Shortlisted)
- 2015 WAN Sustainable Building Awards (Shortlisted)
- 2015 MIPIM Awards, Best Innovative Green Building (Finalist)
4. Open & Flexible Architecture
The Edge is planned with a totally breath-taking glass exterior and very large and open floor plans which is set in a U-shape around a royal fifteen-story north-facing atrium. The atrium is enclosed by balconies and inhabitants can effortlessly move between levels to gather in the naturally-lighted meeting areas.
5. The Edge Connect
A typical day at the Edge in Amsterdam begins with a smartphone application developed with the main tenant of the building, Deloitte. From the minute the employee wakes up, he/she is connected to the Edge. The smart app checks their schedule, and the building identifies their cars when they arrive and directs them to a parking spot.
The app also helps an employee find a desk, this is because no one has a fixed one. Workspaces are allotted based on one’s schedule: standing desk, sitting desk, meeting room, work booth, balcony seat, or a concentration room. The app clearly understands an employee’s preferences for light and temperature, hence wherever one goes it tweaks the environment accordingly to his/her preference.
6. Access To Critical Building Data
Deloitte is actively collecting gigabytes of data on how the Edge and its employees interact. Central dashboards can track almost every aspect of the building, starting from energy usage to when the coffee machine needs refilling. Data which can be accessed from easy-to-use dashboards and advanced reporting help the required staff to make information-based decision to optimize energy use, heating and cooling and even reduce waste.
7. Efficient Use Of Resources
The building is fitted with 28,000 sensors which actively track lighting levels, humidity, temperature, movement, and even carbon dioxide levels. With all the data generated, the building responses quickly and uses resources more efficiently. Hence, when a particular area is not used, the lighting, heating and air conditioning is automatically adjusted or switched off.
8. Generates Its Own Electricity
The Edge produces more electricity than it consumes, a triumph made possible by a collection of invisible solar panels covering nearly 44,000 sq. ft. The southern wall of the building is a checkerboard of solar panels and windows. Thick load-bearing concrete ropes the regulation of heat, and deeply sunken windows cut the need for shades, even with direct exposure to the sun. The roof is also covered with solar panels. In Addition to that, its Ethernet-powered LED lighting system is 80% more efficient than the conventional lighting.
9. Thermal Energy Storage
Two 129m deep wells that reach down to an aquifer thermal energy storage (i.e. approximately 130 m below ground) generates all energy required for the building heating and cooling.
10. Rain Water Reuse
Rainwater is collected on the roof of the building which is used for flushing toilets, and irrigating the green terraces in the atrium and other surrounding garden areas of the building.
The world’s greenest office is impressive, isn’t it? The Edge has not only set a new global benchmark in green building. Sustainable and smart buildings like these are capable of solving their own problems, generate their own energy, enhance the lives of their occupants, and reduce our collective carbon footprint is what people want and our world needs.
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Image Credits: Archdaily
Curated by a building expert from Wienerberger India