The Edge in Amsterdam has been hailed the smartest, greenest office in the world.
Yes, you read that right. A SMART office.
Building automation systems (BMS) aren't exactly new to us. Some of the world's largest corporates already have integrated systems, consisting of a computerised hub that controls lighting, heating, ventilation, elevators, security controls, fire safety and more.
The aim is to unify all of these processes resulting in lower utility costs, increased visibility, and improved occupant safety and comfort.
This is a revolutionary step in technology architecture. In the early noughties, intelligent buildings - a relatively new concept - tended to be centred around efficiency and sustainability.
Now, they go beyond this, encompassing all things great about smart technology, and implementing them into a building's infrastructure.
Think, a gym that repurposes your energy expenditure into the running of the building.
Think virtual desktops.
Think coffee machines that know who you are and how you like your coffee.
Think carparks that find a space for you.
Think...well, you won't really need to think about much anymore.
However daunting and futuristic it may seem, I believe technology architecture should be embraced. It promotes sustainability, and encourages agile working solutions, paving the way for improved staff happiness, satisfaction, morale, and consequently, retention.
The efforts of Deloitte are the future of the BMS - and whilst inherently impressive, I have no doubt they'll cause a stir of doubt among executives across the globe. And I guess I can see why.
As a new generation approaches the workforce, what does an increase in automation mean for their independence, initiative and proactivity?
More importantly - will they know how to make coffee?
I have to say, I'm all for it. With driverless cars in the not so distant future, and smart homes and robotic assistants slowing becoming the norm, it's another step in the right direction towards a technological revolution.
And if we can use technology to improve agility and wellbeing amongst the workforce, we'd be crazy to impede its inevitable acceleration.
It knows where you live. It knows what car you drive. It knows who you’re meeting with today and how much sugar you take in your coffee. (At least it will, after the next software update.) This is the Edge, and it’s quite possibly the smartest office space ever constructed. A day at the Edge in Amsterdam starts with a smartphone app developed with the building’s main tenant, consulting firm Deloitte. From the minute you wake up, you’re connected. The app checks your schedule, and the building recognizes your car when you arrive and directs you to a parking spot. Then the app finds you a desk. Because at the Edge, you don’t have one. No one does.