Imagine that you’re riding your bike to work. You pull up to a tall reflective building with hundreds of windows and park your Schwinn. Your hipster coworker waves to you as they pull their electric car up to one of the charging ports. You walk into the building and you’re greeted by the robotic security guard asking for your work pass (weird much?). Then you log in to an app, choose your work station for the day, set your atmosphere and temp, and roll on with the rest of your day. If you’re thinking we’re trying to pitch a new espisode of Black Mirror, you’re only partially right… this is actual reality for workers at The Edge in Amsterdam.
From the outside, it doesn’t look too futuristic, simply a building with a whole lot of windows. But inside, the ceilings are embedded with 28,000 sensors which measure the temperature, light, motion, and humidity within. Workers can control the temperature, lighting, and blinds at their individual work stations using a smartphone app. The app can also be used to book meeting rooms, open lockers, book private workrooms, and find where their colleagues are sitting within the building.
Now, we know what you’re thinking- none of this sounds very green, right? Well, this building actually received the highest ever rating from BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology), receiving a 98.36% rating. When the building was designed, it quickly became clear that covering the roof with solar panels wouldn’t be enough energy to power the entire building. So The Edge made a nifty deal with their neighbors, the VU University of Amsterdam, which would allow them to build solar panels on their roofs as well in exchange for the free use of any spare energy.
According to BBC News, they also installed a slanted atrium which drains off rainwater to collect and reuse for cleaning and flushing toilets. It’s heating and cooling are maintained using an aquifer thermal energy storage system. There are no radiators used within the building, the heating is provided cables that run through the ceilings. They also encourage the workers to ‘go green’ by providing significant space for bike racks and electric car chargers. There’s even a gym built-in that allows you to contribute to the energy supply of the office as you workout.
We always love to see when energy efficiency and innovation come together- keep living on The Edge!