This Amsterdam office block is packed with 30,000 sensors to control everything from lighting to where it would be best for people to work.
Ron Bakker, a London-based architect, has designed the world’s most sustainable building – and it is the world’s smartest, too.
The huge atrium acts as the lung of the building, providing airflow into office spaces. The building is north-facing, with two distinct sides: one with sun and one without. The atrium is designed to allow for an energy-efficient floor plan, which conceals noise pollution from the motorway to the north, but allows light in from the south. They use the Earth as a battery which is 30 metres deep underground. This allows the building to store heat in the summer to be used in the winter. They don’t use any energy for heating or cooling the building, ever.
They also realised only 25 per cent of people were actually at their desks simultaneously. So, despite the firm having 3,000 employees, they decided to put in space for 1,000 desks only. In turn, the firm saved a third on energy costs and a third on construction costs. But this meant workspaces needed managing. As a solution, the team built an app to organise the spaces digitally.
The team designed 30,000 sensors to be placed every two feet throughout the office, measuring every aspect of lighting, CO2 levels and humidity. The building’s brain can make decisions by itself, deciding where it’s best for people to work and free-up and open the doors of meeting rooms when required.
And, slowly but surely, other cities like London are catching on. Now There’s a realisation that air quality and the health and wellness aspect of a building is important.