Innovative and forward-thinking businesses always lead the charge when it comes to doing things differently, and the advent of intelligent buildings presents a new game-changing opportunity.
Cited as the world’s most connected, intelligent and sustainable building, The Edge in Amsterdam is a compelling example of what is possible when a business embraces the fabric of its real estate and new technologies to enhance the user experience and reduce costs.
Transformed into a smart building at the request of its occupier Deloitte, The Edge leverages the “Internet of Everything”, which converges people, process, data and things into one single network to redefine how people work. Thanks to IP convergence and more than 28,000 sensors and LED lights within its digital ceiling, The Edge collects and uses vast amounts of data about user behaviours, preferences and building performance to operate efficiently and sustainably. In essence, the building is a living, breathing organism, able to anticipate, meet and even exceed the needs of its users.
Changing workplace behaviours and the advent of more agile working have paved the way for intelligent buildings. Transient workforces and mobile technologies have made it necessary to look more closely at how space is used, not only in a bid to boost productivity and improve the employee experience, but also to better manage overheads.
The Edge has achieved this in spades and, with the help of an app, is able to:
- assign and help employees choose workspaces in accordance with their daily workload (helping to reduce desks to 1,000 for 2,500 people and eradicate owned desks altogether)
- pair any smart phone or tablet with the building’s countless screens at the push of a button
- decommission areas on quiet days to reduce heating, lighting and maintenance costs and energy wastage
- identify when facilities are ready for cleaning or maintenance
- generate enough power through solar panels to support its own operation, power employees’ electric vehicles and export energy back to the grid
- know the temperature and humidity on each floor to identify the right space for employees based on their individual preferences
It even knows how individual employees like their coffee, lighting in different work settings and their training programme in the on-site gym.
Smart buildings like The Edge are the future and they rely on connectivity and interoperability between equipment and systems to improve the safety, comfort and productivity of their occupants. By automating the processes that control all of a building’s functions, it is possible to make a smart environment that helps building owners and occupiers optimise how space is used, reduce OPEX costs and minimise environmental impact.
Ann Clarke, joint managing director of Claremont said: “As consumers, we recognise that technology improves the quality of our everyday experiences, yet in business there is still scope to make technology achieve so much more. As organisations become more adept at agile working and encourage flexible behaviours in their employees, it’s to be expected that we’ll need greater adaptability, interconnectivity and intelligence in buildings too.
“Business leaders already understand the importance of well-designed people-centric workplace interiors, now they need to take a more holistic view and consider how inbuilt and intuitive technologies can improve the employee experience, reduce and manage overheads and be more environmentally minded.
“Smart building technology is everywhere already, seamlessly connecting us with many of the environments we occupy. Forward-looking business leaders will capitalise on this by recognising the opportunities that connected real estate offers, and will look at the holistic impact of their buildings in the search for greater efficiency. As Deloitte has shown, occupiers can call the shots and make ‘smart building’ demands of their landlords, and those that do stand to reap very real rewards.”
To find out more about smart buildings and how these can be harnessed, look out for Claremont’s upcoming whitepaper.