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  • Schneider Electric Helps The Edge Demonstrate the Future of the Sustainable Workplace

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Located in Zuidas, Europe’s fastest growing business and knowledge district, The Edge in Amsterdam is heralded as the world’s most sustainable office building. It is a net-zero energy building that has earned the highest score ever awarded by the Building Research Establishment (BRE) – 98.36% – and the distinction of BREEAM® NL New Construction certification of “Outstanding.”

Officially opened in May 2015, this 40,000-square-meter, multitenant, Class A office building was conceived by OVG Real Estate, a Dutch commercial real estate developer committed to green development, in partnership with Deloitte, a global professional services firm and the building’s primary occupant.

Technically as well as visually impressive

With an open and flexible architecture, The Edge is designed according to “The New World of Work” principles, which challenge traditional organizational culture to create an agile, high-performance workplace where innovation can thrive. Adhering to that philosophy, The Edge features a vast glass exterior and large, open floor plans situated in a U-shape around a 15-story, north-facing atrium.

The Edge has an estimated energy consumption of less than 0.3 kWh/m/yr. To achieve this, the south façade is fitted with solar panels on all non-window surfaces. Additionally, aquifer thermal energy storage (approximately 130 meters below ground) generates all energy required for heating and cooling the building.

Behind the scenes at The Edge is a comprehensive array of building engineering and energy efficiency ecosystems enhanced by the powerful connectivity of the IoT. These ecosystems were brought together by the collaborative expertise and leading technologies from Schneider Electric with Dutch system integrator (HC Groep), engineering consultant and specifier (Deerns), contractor (Homij Bosman Combinatie), as well as other integrators and panel builders.

Smart building approach

Beyond its architectural accomplishments, The Edge also features expansive building efficiency measures. The single backbone is Schneider Electric’s SmartStruxure™ solution building management system (BMS) powered by StruxureWare™ Building Operation software, which enables real-time access and connection to critical building data. SmartStruxure solution enables building and facility managers to manage and analyze building operations and energy use on-site or remotely to maintain optimal comfort for occupants and reduce waste throughout the lifecycle of the building.

Additionally, BMS-compatible field devices are installed in ceilings and technical rooms, including sensors, valves, actuators and heat meters, which provide energy-related measurement of thermal energy used in the building.

Schneider Electric’s electrical distribution solutions are also in use throughout the building, including electrical panels, busbars, energy meters and frequency drives located in technical rooms. More than 180 energy and heat meters are installed in the building. Energy measurement information is captured in StruxureWare Power Monitoring Expert software, enabling facility managers to make information-based decisions leveraging advanced reporting capabilities.

The customized integrated system allows building and facility managers to monitor, measure and control – in a single view – the building’s HVAC and room control systems, as well as its state-of-the-art aquifer thermal energy storage and solar-generated energy.

A feat of modern engineering and sustainability

All of these features contribute to the outstanding accomplishments at The Edge. The building not only sets a new global benchmark for a sustainable building environment, but also prioritizes the comfort, health and productivity of its occupants. It is the first building to utilize a third-party Light over Ethernet (LoE) system, which enables employees to use an application on their smartphones to regulate the lighting and climate in their individual workspaces for optimal comfort. The app also allows for optimized facility management because it shows users’ habits and behavior in the building. This innovation not only saves money on energy costs, but also provides information and data analytics about how the building is operating and being used. Rainwater harvesting, electric vehicle charging stations and motion-sensor ventilation are some of the other eco-friendly features at The Edge.

The Edge is the future of the sustainable workplace, as Coen van Oostrom, Founder and CEO of OVG Real Estate, said: “Sustainability is about more than a great BREEAM rating. It is also about a building’s overall comfort and efficiency for its occupants, so that they can operate with ease in a productive and healthy environment.”

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View a video featuring The Edge in Amsterdam, described as “the world’s most sustainable office building.”
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