Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, a firm specializing in audit, consulting, taxation and risk management, recently took up its quarters in an avant-garde building in the suburbs of Amsterdam in the Netherlands. The Edge combines ecological and environmental performance with ergonomic and connected work.
A high-performance building
Designed in collaboration with the space management company OVG Real Estate and Dutch equipment manufacturer Philips, the building received a score of 98.4% in its environmental certification issued by BREEAM-NL. And for good reason, the Edge generates more energy than it consumes. Using solar panels, solar energy allows not only for operating with varying light intensities and reversible air conditioning, but also for charging portable computers, smartphones and electric vehicles used by employees. A geothermal installation supplements the arrangement by tapping energy from two sources of water, one cold and the other hot, at 130 metres depth, using a pump that also runs on solar energy.
The key for employees’ use of the building is their smartphone on which an app developed by Deloitte is installed. As they approach their workplace, the app opens the garage door for them, assigns them a parking spot (bike or car) then a work space (office, meeting room, open seat in the space, etc.) depending on their use of time at the moment. The only place that doesn’t change from one day to another is their lockers. Beyond the work environment, the health and time of employees are taken into account with, for example, an app that lets them arrange their dinner. They choose their menu during the day and the Bilder & De Clercq grocery store provides the ingredients needed to prepare it after work.
Montreal and soon Toronto
In Canada, the new Deloitte office opened its doors last June in Montreal. An article published in La Presse Affaires identified the facilities designed for the firm’s 35 employees, “open air spaces with adjustable height furniture, soundproof cubicles, coffee counters, closed rooms with treadmills to promote fast walking while answering emails, a health centre open 12 hours a day where users can both do training and consult with a nutritionist or financial planner, movable walls allowing the space to be reconfigured, etc.” This is something to appeal to Generation Y workers as well as those of other generations who said they were satisfied with their new work environment. In this spring of 2016, it will be the turn of the 3,800 employees in the firm’s Toronto accounting office to settle into a decidedly revolutionary work space.