OVG Real Estate and Deloitte create the world’s most sustainable office building

OVG Real Estate, the Dutch commercial real estate developer and investor, has created the world’s most sustainable office building after its newest property was awarded the highest score ever recorded by the Building Research Establishment (BRE), the global assessor of sustainable buildings. The Edge, located in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, achieved a BREEAM new construction certification of ‘Outstanding’. OVG worked in close partnership with the building’s principle occupier, leading global professional services firm Deloitte.

By employing innovative smart technology, the 40,000 square metre (430,000 square foot) Grade A office building achieved a score of 98.36 per cent. The previous title holder was One Embankment Place in London.

Annemarie van Doorn, Director of the Dutch Green Building Council said:

“BREEAM stimulates the demand for sustainable projects, classifying buildings according to their environmental impact and rewarding those that go above and beyond the legal requirement. OVG has created an exemplary office building that has exceeded any other that we have rated worldwide to date. Our hope is that other developers will follow this lead and endeavour to create innovative buildings that are in a league with The Edge.”

OVG worked in close partnership with Deloitte to bring together a collection of pioneering experts to design a building that not only sets a new global benchmark for the built environment, but prioritises the comfort, health and productivity of its end-users.

Commenting on the rating, Coen van Oostrom, founder and CEO of OVG, said:

“The built environment currently accounts for 40 per cent of carbon emissions, so pushing the boundaries of what is possible by being brave and employing new technologies is critical. We have a responsibility to leave a green legacy for future generations.

“Deloitte always strives for the best and the building we developed for them reflects this. We brought together a team of experts and challenged them to identify new innovations to make The Edge one of the most efficient commercial properties in the world, built with and for Deloitte, the primary occupier. This collaborative approach was the reason that this building achieved such a high rating.”

Peter Bommel, CEO of Deloitte Nederland, said:

“When it came to identifying our new headquarters in Amsterdam, we wanted to ensure that our building not only had the right sustainability credentials but was also a real innovative and inspiring place to work for our employees. The opportunity to collaborate with a host of experts ensured that the finished building was sensitive to its surroundings and created a technologically productive and happy working environment.”

Ron Bakker, Founding Partner at London-based PLP Architecture which designed The Edge said:

“The shape and orientation of the building present the initial step to achieving the exceptional climatic performance of this headquarters. Large floor plates arranged around a north-facing atrium allow daylight to permeate the majority of workspaces while load-bearing structure with smaller openings provides thermal mass and shade to the sunlit faces of the building. The 15-storey atrium space full of light and activity contributes to an inspirational workplace environment that is operationally, aesthetically and environmentally outstanding.”

The Edge was the first building to utilise Philips’ Ethernet-powered LED connected lighting, which enables employees to use an application on their smartphones to regulate the climate and light over their individual workspaces. This innovative technology not only saves businesses money on energy costs, but serves as a means of providing information and data about how the building is running to drive overall efficiency.

The building is also energy neutral. To achieve this, OVG partnered with the University of Amsterdam (UvA) and the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (HvA) to fit an area of 4,100 square metres (44,132 sq ft) on the school’s rooftops with solar panels. The south façade of The Edge is also fitted with solar panels on all surfaces that are not windows. Furthermore, an aquifer thermal energy storage (approximately 130 m. below the ground) generates all energy required for heating and cooling of the building.

Coen van Oostrom said:

“Whilst we are proud that The Edge has set a new benchmark that we hope others will adopt, we will continue to look for new ways to ensure that the buildings we develop are constantly evolving. 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.”

Between 2007 and 2011, OVG invested more than $1billion in sustainable real estate development, a commitment it entered into with the Clinton Global Initiative. At the end of 2011, it made a further commitment to invest its second billion into sustainable development.

Coen van Oostrom concluded: “We are passionate about sustainable real estate development and the role it can play in creating improved living and working environments. We want to encourage others who share our entrepreneurial mind-set to join our mission to effect positive social, economic and environmental change in major cities worldwide.”

The Edge is owned by Deka Immobilien and the construction finance is executed by ABN AMRO Real Estate Finance. G&S Bouw was the contractor and Deerns the engineering consultant.