Technology

This smart office block uses 30,000 sensors to control lighting and even where employees should work

The Edge is the most sustainable office building in the world.

In 2014 The Edge, a Deloitte office, was named the most sustainable office building in the world, according to the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method (BREEAM) standard – but it turns out it’s one of the smartest too.

The building in Amsterdam has a system which uses 30,000 sensors that can control lighting and humidity and cater for how many workers are inside and their movements.

The building in sunset
(Ronald Tilleman)

These sensors feed into the building’s smart system and allow it to automatically make changes to keep the building’s energy usage low and increase the efficiency in which spaces are used.

Designed by Ron Bakker and his architecture firm PLP, the office has 1,000 desks despite having 3,000 employees. The firm realised only 25% of workers are at their desks in the building at any one time so the sensors organise the space digitally, letting workers use an app to find out where best to sit – while the building itself can decide which meeting rooms to open up when required.

The building includes a vast atrium where workers can gather, but which also provides airflow to the offices and is designed to dull noise from the motorway to the north of the complex – while facing south to allow in the most light.

The inside of the building
(Ronald Tilleman)

The building is so cleverly arranged that it uses heat energy stored deep in the Earth.

According to BREEAM, the building uses 70% less electricity than comparable office buildings, giving it a score of 98.36% – the highest it has awarded.

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