EDGELondonBridge
Expectations are high given the developer's reputation for building some of the world's greenest offices

Green light for London’s ‘most sustainable tower’

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Karl Tomusk

Dutch developer EDGE has received planning permission for what it says will be the UK capital’s greenest tower.

Designed by Pilbrow & Partners to achieve both BREEAM Outstanding and WELL Platinum certification, EDGE London Bridge is a 27-storey, 260,000 sq ft tower that “promises to maximise the wellbeing of its occupants”, the developer said.

The outside of the building will include a landscaped public park at its base to integrate it with the wider community, while the inside will be equipped with EDGE’s extensive IoT and smart technology.

The façade – designed to match the Victorian heritage of the surrounding area – will balance internal daylight from floor-to-ceiling windows with shading, which should contribute to a carbon emissions reduction of more than 50% on-site.

EDGE London Bridge will also include underfloor air supply and natural ventilation in order to create an energy efficient, healthy environment.

Alongside these features, the building will include a tenants’ club with a large terrace, a gym, bike parking and a coffee bar on the ground floor. EDGE’s website boasts that the development will include 0 parking spaces.

Coen van Oostrom, founder and CEO of EDGE, said: “If people are to leave the comfort of their home offices, they need to be enticed back to spaces that have become clubhouses enabling them to connect, create and work together.

“Buildings such as EDGE London Bridge will lead the way, showing that the office of the future is already here.”

EDGE bought the St Thomas Street site near the Shard – its first building in the UK – in 2019 for £50m. EDGE London Bridge will replace an existing seven-storey building that is currently a Home Office immigration centre.

EdgeLondonBridge2

Living up to expectations

Expectations will be high for EDGE London Bridge given its developer’s reputation. Formerly known as OVG, EDGE caught the property industry’s attention in 2014 for building what was lauded as the smartest, most sustainable building in the world: Edge Amsterdam.

Packed with 28,000 sensors and what was then the highest sustainability rating BREEAM had ever awarded (Bloomberg later took the crown with its European HQ in London), the original Edge adopted many of the forward-looking features that developers are now looking for in smart, green offices.

Edge Amsterdam collects endless amounts of data about how people use the office – occupied by Deloitte – with an app to create a seamless, personalised experience. Each workstation is within seven metres of a window and permanent desks are eschewed in favour of hot-desks.

A unique system of water pipes lines the ceilings, which pumps warm water stored in the summer throughout the building in the winter as a highly efficient form of heating.

Many of these features have since been copied and adapted by developers and startups throughout the industry.

With EDGE London Bridge expected to open a decade after its Dutch predecessor, the challenge for the developer is to remain innovative and boundary-pushing even as its peers catch up.

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