Future of the Environment

Is this the world’s greenest, smartest office building?

The Edge in Amsterdam is possibly the world's greenest office space Image: OVG

Rosamond Hutt
Senior Writer, Formative Content
Share:
Our Impact
What's the World Economic Forum doing to accelerate action on Future of the Environment?
The Big Picture
Explore and monitor how Future of the Environment is affecting economies, industries and global issues
A hand holding a looking glass by a lake
Crowdsource Innovation
Get involved with our crowdsourced digital platform to deliver impact at scale
Stay up to date:

Future of the Environment

It’s the world’s greenest office space, and probably the smartest, too. The Edge in Amsterdam knows how much energy it is consuming, how many parking spots it has left and when the bathrooms need cleaning. Even the espresso machines recognize you and remember how you take your coffee.

The building, designed for consultancy firm Deloitte, its main tenant, is fitted with 28,000 sensors which track movement, lighting levels, humidity and temperature.

All this data enables the building to respond and use resources more efficiently. When areas are not being used, heating, air conditioning and lighting can be adjusted or switched off.

But it’s not just about cutting energy and water usage and cleaning costs. The Edge also serves as an example of how smart building design has the potential to change the way we work.

Workers are connected to the building via a smartphone app, which helps them find parking spaces, desks (there are about 1,000 for 2,500 staff), and other colleagues. The app checks their schedules for the day and directs them to a sitting or standing desk, work booth, meeting room or ‘concentration room’.

Employees can also use it to adjust temperature and lighting levels around them. The app remembers their preferences, including how they like their coffee.

 The Edge 2
Image: OVG

The heating and cooling systems, lighting, lifts, coffee machines, the connected towel dispensers that alert cleaning staff to dirty bathrooms and the robot security guard which patrols the building at night can all be monitored and controlled centrally.

 The Edge 3
Image: Bloomberg

The environmental ratings agency BREEAM gave The Edge a score of 98.36%, the highest sustainability score ever. The building, developed by OVG Real Estate and designed by PLP Architecture, was completed in 2014. It produces more electricity than it consumes as a result of its energy-saving design and use of solar and geothermal energy.

Daylight pours into the 15-storey north-facing glass atrium, while solar panels on the southern wall and the roof convert sunlight into energy. The building also uses energy from solar panels located nearby at the University of Amsterdam. Water for heating and cooling is piped to and from an aquifer beneath the building.

 The Edge 4
Image: OVG
Have you read?
Don't miss any update on this topic

Create a free account and access your personalized content collection with our latest publications and analyses.

Sign up for free

License and Republishing

World Economic Forum articles may be republished in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International Public License, and in accordance with our Terms of Use.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.

Related topics:
Future of the EnvironmentFuture of WorkEducation
Share:
World Economic Forum logo
Global Agenda

The Agenda Weekly

A weekly update of the most important issues driving the global agenda

Subscribe today

You can unsubscribe at any time using the link in our emails. For more details, review our privacy policy.

1 in 5 migratory species are at risk of extinction, says a new UN report

Simon Torkington

February 21, 2024

About Us

Events

Media

Partners & Members

  • Join Us

Language Editions

Privacy Policy & Terms of Service

© 2024 World Economic Forum