Boasting of a whopping 40,000 sq m (430,000 sq ft) of area, Deloitte’s new headquarters at Amsterdam, designed by PLP Architecture, is not just about gargantuan coverage. The imposing building christened as ‘The Edge’ has been heralded as the most sustainable office building on the face of our planet, with BREEAM (Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology) awarding it a rating of ‘outstanding’ and an incredible score of 98.36 percent. That is the highest score ever given to an architectural specimen, thus crowing The Edge with the honor previously belonging to London’s One Embankment Place.
The assessment scope of BREEAM covers a wide spectrum of criteria that can be both directly and inertly associated with the building under inspection. These aspects range from the low-impact building materials, energy and water-usage systems to waste management components and even transportation connections. Suffice it to say, The Edge passes with flying colors in all of such requirements – with the building’s innovative use of renewable power (like solar cells) and passive architectural techniques.
To that end, the HQ’s south-facing facade flaunts its array of solar panels that are embedded on non-window surfaces. This arrangement is further bolstered on the ‘green’ level with an additional 4,100 sq m (44,100 sq ft) of solar panels that are installed (by OVG) along rooftops. The overall magnitude of solar power generated is sufficient for the electricity requirements of The Edge.
And the good part is – the quotient of renewable power is complemented by the smart lighting systems used inside the building. In that regard, the corporate structure is the first to utilize Philips’ Ethernet-powered LEDs that double up as data transmitting components. In other words, the lighting fixtures can also be synced up with sensors to detect and optimize the ambit of energy management, with monitoring of attributes like temperature and circulation motions.
These direct features are accompanied by some ingeniously created passive architectural techniques, including the deft orientation of the building that closely follows the sun-path of the area. However, arguably more fascinating is the utilization of an aquifer thermal energy storage system, which is capable of both heating and cooling by the reverse flow of accumulated water in a singular well. This is topped off by a rainwater collection system that provides water supply for toilet flushes, and an outer public transportation network that comprises of dedicated parking space for bicycles.