Working on The Edge: Smart office sets standards for workplace of the future

Intelligent, adaptable and highly efficient: the London architects of PLP Architecture have designed a smart office building, The Edge, which sets new standards for sustainable workplaces of the future. Using a unique mix of innovative tech, this new building located in the Zuidas Central Business District of Amsterdam is defining a new way of working in the modern office.

The Edge, Amsterdam: Creating a space for flexibility in the modern workplace

Dutch property developer OVG Real Estate implemented the current construction project in cooperation with Deloitte, the global auditing and consulting firm who are also the Edge’s current

main tenant. The smart office building that resulted, which totals 40,000 square metres, already shows that the main focus is on the employees and their specific needs.

The building boasts a fully glazed façade which allows in plenty of light. This is further accentuated by open corridors which form the framework, allowing for pleasant, inspiring and light-flooded work areas. All paths within the intelligent office building cross the 15-storey atrium which boasts cafes, a restaurant and various green spaces. Overall, this allows for an inviting atmosphere and informal exchange. Here, modern technology doesn’t just link rooms and work equipment – it brings people together.

The Edge Office Amsterdam

Navigating the smart office using its own app

For every employee, an in-house app for their smartphones is one of the most important tools to have. It is this app that helps navigate and guide workers through numerous processes. When someone nters the underground car park, the smart tech recognizes who is arriving and guides them to the nearest free parking space. At the Edge, there are also no dedicated offices. Instead all room booking, desk planning and navigation around the building is simplified by the app.

Individual comfort and saving electricity

Depending on where someone is working, they can use their smartphone to adjust lighting and temperature in their current location. At present there are 6,000 smart lights which have been integrated into the IP-based LED system at the Edge. Each individual light is controlled by computer and consumes so little power that it only needs to be supplied via a data cable. Each light also has a multi-sensor which continuously records environmental factors such as light intensity and air quality. However,

smart lighting is just one components, which contributes to the superior comfort and energy efficiency of the Edge.

Intelligent Facility Management: A workplace in the Internet of Things

Around 30,000 sensors are built into the Edge, linking it to the Internet of Things. Devices such as coffee machines, printers, heating/air conditioning systems and ventilation are all integrated into this

intelligent system. Networked components and anonymously recorded at from the app provide the property management company with a very detailed view on energy consumption.

At the same time, the IoT platform makes use of machine learning – a part of artificial intelligence (AI) which help to optimize the performance of the technology. Thanks to this, the Edge consumes less than 70% of the electricity that comparable office buildings of its size do.

 
A workday in the world's most sustainable office. Source: Bloomberg / YouTube

At the same time, rainwater is collected on the roof and used to irrigate the green areas of this smart office building.

The developers hope that The Edge will become a role model for architects around the world. The BREEAM assessment not only confirms

the benefits of intelligent technology for people and the environment, but also aims to provide incentives for the development and realisation of similarly innovative buildings. Ideally, it's only a matter of time before a building can match the superlatives of The Edge.

What do you think about working in a smart building like The Edge? How do you feel these digital services would impact your everyday working life? Let us know in the comments!

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