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Tomorrow’s buildings: Is world’s greenest office smart?
  The Edge office building in Amsterdam prides itself on good coffee, lots of natural light - no desk is far from a window - and a gym that allows you not just to get fit but also to contribute to the energy supply of the office.
It also flushes its toilets with rainwater, has a robot security guard that will challenge you if you wander around at night and a whole range of clever technology to make the building sustainable. The developers behind it, Dutch firm OVG, liked it so much that they moved in when it was finished.
So is the office that has already been dubbed the world’s greenest,
really as smart as it seems?
The building, whose main tenant is consultancy firm Deloitte and was designed by London-based architects PLP Architecture, boasts “smart” ceilings embedded with 28,000 sensors, which measure temperature, light, motion and humidity. The lighting, designed by Phillips, is also smart - each one of the LED panels is ultra-efficient and requires only a tiny amount of electricity. Workers can control the temperature, lighting and blinds via a series of apps on their smartphones.
In December 2014, Edge got an outstanding rating with the highest-ever score of 98.36% from BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology). It means that the Facilities manager, Mr Van der Mey has a new job role - as tour guide. He has hosted architects, developers and news outlets who come to see a range of features, including an innovative approach to solar power.
When it became clear that covering the roof with solar panels was not going to be enough to provide 100% of The Edge’s electricity, it turned to its neighbours- to install a further 4,100 sq m of solar panels on their rooftops in return for the free use of any spare electricity. The slanted atrium drains off rainwater to be collected in troughs and reused for cleaning and flushing the toilets.
The building is doing its bit to encourage its workers to go greener. There is a huge space for bikes and a whole wall dedicated to electric car charging points in the underground car park.
The building is heated and cooled via an aquifer thermal energy storage system. Hot water is stored in wells in the ground during summer to help heat the building in winter and cold water in the winter to cool the building in the warmer months. There are no radiators in the building - all the heating is provided by cables that run through the ceilings.
Both Deloitte and OVG are open about the fact that The Edge is an experimental project and that not everything has worked.
One of its biggest challenges is making sense of the mountains of data generated by the sensors. The data dashboards display a variety of real-time data points - including the number of workers in the building at any given time, how many visitors, energy consumption and temperature.
It also has some fun data, e.g. how much coffee, and what type, is being consumed in the building at any given time; which showed that lattes and cappuccinos were by far the most popular choice, meaning the manufacturer needed to fit a larger compartment for milk - a real world example of how access to data can improve working lives.
Every coffee machine is also connected to the internet, meaning facilities staff can see which ones are getting low and refill them before someone finds it empty. The towel rails in the bathrooms are similarly connected.  
The hours that cleaners work have also been changed as a result of the data and Mr Van der Mey is keen for this to happen more often.
Article Source: http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-35746647
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