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Schneider Electric: Company Helps Create 'World's Most Sustainable Office Building' in Amsterdam
Feb. 18, 2016 — Located in Zuidas, Europe’s fastest-growing business and knowledge district, The Edge, in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, is heralded as the world’s most sustainable office building.
Officially opened in May 2015, this multi-tenant, 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.
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 in an open, flexible environment.
Adhering to that philosophy, The Edge is designed with a breathtaking glass exterior and large, open floor plans situated in a U-shape around a majestic 15-story, north-facing atrium. The atrium is surrounded by balconies and residents can easily move between levels to gather in naturally lighted meeting areas.
A marvel of architectural design, behind the scenes at The Edge is a comprehensive array of building engineering and energy efficiency ecosystems that make it outstanding both operationally and environmentally as well as aesthetically.
A broad range of Schneider Electric integrated building management solutions, electrical distribution systems, and IT infrastructure are employed throughout The Edge. Schneider Electric was pleased to unite once again with OVG at The Edge following their successful collaborations a few years earlier at the carbon-neutral TNT Centre (Hoofddorp, The Netherlands).
A transversal team from Schneider Electric EcoBuilding Division and Partner Business served as liaisons between Schneider Electric entities and several other well-respected participants in their industries, including: primary end user (Deloitte); engineering consultant and specifier (Deerns); and contractor (Homij Bosman Combinatie), as well as other integrators and panel builders.
“During the bidding process we worked closely with Schneider Electric to ensure that the newest building automation technology was available and could be integrated in all the emerging new technology in The Edge,” said Jacob Jansen, general manager, HC Groep, the project's lead system integrator. “Because of the important scope of this project, a mock-up was built in our climate laboratory to demonstrate the feasibility and integration options.”
SmartStruxure solution, Schneider Electric’s premier building management system (BMS) powered by StruxureWare Building Operation software, is used at The Edge, including 50 automation servers. BMS-compatible field devices are installed in ceilings and in technical rooms, including sensors, valves, actuators, and heat meters, which provide energy-related measurement of thermal energy used in the building.
The Edge facility managers are able to manage building operations and energy use on-site or remotely to maintain optimal comfort for occupants. Access to critical building data is available via easy-to-use dashboards and advanced reporting to make information-based decisions to optimize HVAC energy use and reduce waste.
Schneider Electric electrical distribution products are used throughout the building, including electrical panels, busbars, energy meters, and frequency drives located in technical rooms. Over 180 energy and heat meters are installed in the building, and energy measurement information is captured in StruxureWare Power Monitoring Expert software.
“This was a very complex job and Schneider Electric demonstrated that we have a full complement of vision and expertise as well as products, systems, and solutions to help simplify the entire experience for our customers,” said Erik Zwaan, EcoBuilding commercial manager at Schneider Electric in The Netherlands. “The success at this impressive edifice, including a full spectrum of building ecosystems, demonstrates our comprehensive team approach and ability to deliver results as a true multi-faceted project management organization.”
The Edge also features other impressive building efficiency measures: It is the first building to use a third-party’s Ethernet-powered LED connected lighting, which enables employees to use an application on their smartphones to regulate the lighting and climate in their individual workspaces. This innovative technology not only saves money on energy costs, but also provides information and data analytics about how the building is running.
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.
Cool air from the ground floor at The Edge is circulated to the top of the atrium to thermo wheels then released to the outside.
Real-time energy consumption and efficiency data gathered from the SmartStruxure solution BMS are shared with building occupants and visitors via a dashboard located on a video screen located in The Edge lobby.
The Edge is also a net-zero energy building. To achieve this, the south façade is fitted with solar panels on all non-window surfaces. Additionally, aquifer thermal energy storage (about 130 meters below ground) generates all energy required for building heating and cooling. Rainwater harvesting, electric vehicle charging stations, and motion-sensored ventilation are some of the other eco-friendly features at The Edge.