The Edge, Amsterdam receives BREEAM Award for new office construction

The Edge, Amsterdam receives BREEAM Award for new office construction

The Edge is a new building in the Zuidas business district in Amsterdam which was designed for Deloitte and awarded an Outstanding rating.


The Edge created an ideal working environment for Deloitte, enabled by sustainable technologies. It earned the world’s highest BREEAM rating given to an office building and uses smart technologies to create adaptable and intelligent work spaces. The building demonstrates that it’s possible to create a vibrant and collaborative working environment while achieving the highest levels of sustainability.


EDGE Technologies (formerly OVG Real Estate) develops and operate the best buildings and environments actively contributing to the wellbeing of people and the world. It combines decades of experience in real estate with proven innovation and results in big data, smart technology and systems.


The Edge is a 40,000m² office building in the Zuidas business district in Amsterdam. It was designed for its main tenant, the global financial firm Deloitte. The project aimed to bring together all of Deloitte’s employees from multiple buildings throughout the city into a single place. The Edge was designed as a 'smart building’ to act as a catalyst for Deloitte’s transition into the digital age.

Credit: Ronald Tilleman
Credit: Ronald Tilleman


The Edge underwent BREEAM certification as a way of measuring its innovative design and construction. The overall concept of the building was intended to be exemplary and to stand out from the crowd as a future-proof office. Its aim was to raise standards both in the Netherlands and internationally.


With the help of the BREEAM framework, the project team developed an office building that’s not only energy neutral, but energy positive. This is partly due to its efficiency measures; The Edge uses 70% less electricity than comparable office buildings. An aquifer thermal energy storage system provides all of the energy required for heating and cooling, and a heat-pump was applied to this storage system which significantly increased efficiency.

The building’s smart systems are continuously measuring the how many people are in the building and their movements, and adjusting lighting levels, humidity and temperature for maximum efficiency. If no one is there, there is almost zero energy use. This technology also predicts lunchtime occupancy based on real-time historical data and traffic and weather information to avoid food-waste, alerts managers when lights need replacing or printers run out of paper, and tells cleaners to skip rooms which haven’t been used.

The building provides its own sustainable electricity. The roof and the south-facing facade feature the largest array of photovoltaic solar panels of any European office building.

Light over Ethernet

The Edge features a new LED-lighting system which was co-developed with Philips. This reduced the energy used to light the building by 50% compared to conventional systems.

The Light over Ethernet (LoE) LED system is powered by Ethernet and 100% IP based. Each of the 6,000 lights are computer controllable, and half of them are fitted with sensors, so changes can be implemented quickly and easily without opening ceilings. Philips’ ‘coded-light’ system also allows for a highly precise location via smartphone down to 20cm accuracy.

Environmental features

The Edge has proved to be a feasible, high quality example of new technologies and new ways of designing and working.

Orientation: The building’s orientation is based on the path of the sun. The atrium bathes the building in northern daylight while the solar panels on the southern facade shield the workspaces from the sun.

Facades: Each facade is uniquely detailed according to its orientation and purpose:

  • Load bearing walls to the south, east and west have smaller openings to provide thermal mass and shading, and solid openable panels for ventilation.

  • Louvers on the south facades are designed according to sun angles and provide additional shading for the office spaces, reducing solar heat gain.

  • Solar panels on the south facade provide enough sustainable electricity to power all smartphones, laptops and electric cars.

  • The North facades are highly transparent and use thicker glass to dampen noise from the motorway.

  • The Atrium façade is totally transparent, allowing views out over the dyke, and steady north light in

Solar panel roof: 65,000 sq ft of solar panels are located on the facades and roof, and remotely on the roofs of buildings of the University of Amsterdam.

Smart lighting: The building’s Ethernet-powered LED lighting system is integrated with 30,000 sensors to continuously measure and adjust energy use.

Energy reuse: Excess ventilation air from the offices is reused to air condition the atrium space, then passes through a heat exchanger to make use of any warmth.

Rain water reuse: Rain water is collected on the roof and used to flush toilets and irrigate the green terraces in the atrium and garden areas.

Thermal energy storage: Two 129m-deep wells reach down to an aquifer, allowing thermal energy differentials to be stored deep underground.

Ecological corridor: The green space that separates the building from the nearby motorway acts as an ecological corridor, allowing animals and insects cross the site safely.

Mobile app: Every employee can use the mobile app to find a parking space, free desks or other colleagues; customise the temperature and light levels; and report issues to the facilities team.

Data: The vast amount of data generated by the building’s digital systems, on everything from energy use to working patterns, has huge potential for informing Deloitte’s operations. It also guides EDGE’s understanding of working environments as a whole. Discussions are currently ongoing regarding the future of this data and its use for research and knowledge transfer.



The Edge was awarded a BREEAM rating of Outstanding, with a nearly perfect score. It earned an award in the New Construction category. But the BREEAM rating is not the only measure of success of the project. The client has also reported happy, comfortable and healthy workers who are more productive because of the environment they work in

EDGE Technologies commented: “Sustainability is about more than a great sustainability rating. It is also about a building’s overall comfort and efficiency for its occupiers, so that they can operate with ease in a productive and healthy environment. Furthermore, an inspirational and healthy environment attracts talent and leads to higher employee satisfaction. An environment such as The Edge leads to lower energy and maintenance costs, reduced sickness leave and higher productivity which ultimately achieves a much better financial performance. Thanks to the BREEAM criteria the use of construction materials and costs per square metre was significantly reduced.

By using the BREEAM certification method, we have given a platform to The Edge. As BREEAM allows for benchmarking of sustainability amongst buildings, it accelerates the development of intelligent and sustainable buildings across the globe. BREEAM certification stimulates the demand for sustainable projects, classifying buildings according to their environmental impact and rewarding those that go above and beyond the legal requirement.”

Summary EDGE Technologies (formerly OVG Real Estate)


EDGE Technologies (formerly OVG Real Estate)
PLP Architecture
Structural Engineer:
Van Rossum Consulting Engineers
G&S Bouw
BREEAM rating:
Outstanding (98.3%)

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