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28,000 Sensors? That’s one really smart building.

The Edge in Amsterdam is the world’s greenest building. BREEAM – the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Methodology, a British rating system – awarded The Edge a sustainability score of 98.4, the highest ever given.

It may also be the world’s smartest building.

What makes it so smart is the sensors – all 28,000 of them – keeping tabs on motion, light, temperature, humidity, infrared…

The building’s main tenant is Deloitte, and they built a smartphone app that pretty much determines where each employee is going to spend their day. When you arrive at work, it directs your car to its parking space. (Sensors in the garage turn the lights on to guide your way, then dim once you’ve passed through.) Once you’ve parked, the app assigns you to your short term home away from home:

“Workspaces are based on your schedule: sitting desk, standing desk, work booth, meeting room, balcony seat, or “concentration room.” Wherever you go, the app knows your preferences for light and temperature, and it tweaks the environment accordingly.”(Source: Bloomberg)

In what sounds to me an awful lot like musical chairs, there are 2,500 Deloitte employees who work at The Edge – and only 1,000 desks. Obviously, this doesn’t encourage much personalization of the workspace. In fact, you don’t even get your own locker, just a place to stow your gear for the day.

On the plus side, the coffee machines remember how you take your coffee or like your espresso.

Everything in the building is tracked, from when to change the towels in the rest rooms to when to fill the coffee machines to how many people are working each day. On days when fewer people are there, parts of the building will be shut down. And throughout the day, sensors track activity. At the end of the days, the cleaners (and cleaning robots) are sent to the areas that got the most use during the day. (By the way, one of the ways they figure out whether a room is occupied is to monitor the carbon dioxide levels.)

I’m not all that wild about the musical-chairs workspace, but the building is pretty cool. (Here’s a link to The Edge site.  And there’s a more technical article on Gizmag that you might be interested in.)