How ‘The Edge’ became the smartest building in the world [Article]

May 31, 2017 Ellen Kirkness

The Edge is the smartest building in the world.

Located in Amsterdam, at 430,000 square feet, The Edge manipulates lighting – both natural and artificial – in such a way as to give it an extraordinarily high ecological I.Q.

With a 15-story, north-facing atrium, the building is perfectly positioned to harvest the sun’s daily movement as office lighting. The sun provides free daylight – but no measurable solar heat gain – through a double-glazed, solid-glass wall on the north side. On the south, east and west sides, where the sun provides warmth in addition to light, shading is done during peak daylight hours when the sun is at its strongest.

According to research by Philips, The Edge enjoys 80% energy savings in lighting alone (over traditional lighting) thanks to its connected lighting system.

Electric lighting at The Edge is also a marvel. When The Edge was in development stage, designers had three key objectives for its lighting system:

•     it would provide a seamless integration with the building as a whole;

•     it would facilitate solutions that are customized to the building’s unique environment

•     a smart interface would allow end-users to control their own environment.

Thus, another significant feature woven into the fabric of The Edge is smart LED lighting that is connected to the building management system (BMS) via the IT network. No longer is LED lighting “simply” digital, solid-state lighting that provides a long life of the light source, low maintenance needs and supreme energy efficiency. It’s now a system of semi-conductors used to communicate with a smartphone’s forward-facing camera to provide indoor-positioning and other capabilities. This technology is generally known as visible light communication (VLC) and it is the backbone of the Internet of Things.

Ultimately, The Edge has differentiated its innovative tactics by enabling lighting as a means to achieve energy efficiency, integrated BMS and indoor positioning. In doing so, it has been dubbed the “computer with a roof,” and received global recognition for its triumphs. 

Want to learn more about daylight harvesting?

Read our Lighting Control Strategy eGuide to learn more about daylight harvesting and understand the different technologies available in the market.

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