A central platform to exchange best practices and ideas guiding the infrastructure and urban development industry in its transformation, and helping it to address its key challenges.

The Edge

Showing the Edge, the most sustainable office building in Amsterdam built by OVG at night

Modern office buildings have to offer far more than a desk to work – improve employee’s productivity, minimize the environmental impact and not least to become a visible symbol of the company and its culture. In the digital age, the nature of work is also much more flexible, decentralized (i.e., no longer desk- or office-bound) and collaborative.


It is not uncommon that 50% of desks in a conventional office today are unoccupied at any one time during office hours – a waste of urban space, and a rallying call for a radically different building design and configuration of rooms.

Developed by OVG Real Estate and designed by PLP Architecture, 40,000 square metres The Edge office building sets new standards in terms of sustainability, smart building and building user experience. Thanks to its energy-saving building design and usage of geothermal and solar energy it is energy positive. What’s more the developer introduced 21 innovations that had never applied before such as Philips’ Ethernet-connected lighting: 6,000 low-energy LED luminaires containing multiple sensors for measuring everything from temperature, lighting levels, movement to CO2 level – a total of 28,000 throughout the entire building – powered over Ethernet and connected to the central building analytics platform. The integration of all building elements, including the towel dispenser and coffee machine, greatly facilitates facility management and enhances user experience as everything can be accessed via one single building app.

All this ingenuity and careful design earned the developers several awards and international recognition for the most sustainable office building with a BREEAM rating of 98.36% making it an icon of modern office design. Yet, the team had to overcome many barriers before its completion in 2014: a cut in financing and different user requirements due to the financial crisis, an inertia and conservatism to move beyond the status quo and regulatory barriers.

Learn how they have solved these barriers and integrated all building elements “on the silicon level, instead of just gluing technologies together” as OVG’s CTO Erik Ubels put it.