Highest sustainability score for Edge West

Published on: 25 May 2022

Edge West, the Amsterdam office of APG, will soon receive the highest sustainability certification 'outstanding' from BREEAM. The office in Heerlen is also doing well with 'very good'. Marga Petridean (Portfolio Manager FS Housing) and Camiel Klein Tuente (Manager FS Support) about the importance of this.

Real estate is responsible for approximately 30 percent of total CO2 emissions and 40 percent of energy consumption worldwide. So a lot needs to be done to bring this in line with the Paris goals. APG takes this into account when investing, but also when it comes to our own offices. For example, we strive for a sustainability certificate for our own offices in the Netherlands and abroad, for which BREEAM is the preferred choice. Edge West will soon receive the highest sustainability certification 'outstanding' from BREEAM. The office in Heerlen is also doing well with 'very good'.

BREEAM stands for 'Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method'. It is a globally recognized quality mark and measuring instrument to assess the sustainability of buildings and the quality mark that APG looks at when it invests in real estate. "That Edge West as a renovation building receive the certification 'outstanding' is a unique piece of work," says Petridean. "Edge West does not use gas and the core and shell construction is energy positive. This means that the building generates more energy than it uses. This is partly due to 6,000 square meters of solar panels on the roof and the available heat and cold storage. Edge West's high ambitions in terms of sustainability and well-being fit in nicely with those of APG, and were therefore an important reason for choosing Edge West as an office."


Last year, the Heerlen office was awarded the 'very good' certificate. In the coming years, APG wants to use an action plan to ensure that the building scores a level higher at the end of 2024, namely 'excellent'. "The Amsterdam office has already achieved the highest possible ratings in terms of sustainability and well-being and is one of the most sustainable buildings in the Netherlands," says Klein Tuente. "The office in Heerlen is not being completely renovated, like Edge West. If you do not strip a building down to the concrete and completely insulate the façade, it is not realistic to achieve the highest certification. The level 'excellent' is therefore our ambition for Heerlen. An example of a measure that should lead to that level is the installation of LED lighting on the new Workspace floors. In addition, we are looking at ways of heating and cooling with which we can 'get rid of the gas', and other local initiatives of energy generation. We are also investigating how we can increase biodiversity around or on our building. For now, we are satisfied with 'very good'. That is already a level higher than we expected."

It meets our wish of 'practice what you preach'

What does an employee actually notice that the office has a high BREEAM rating? "It's a comfortable office," Petridean says. "For example, the lighting can be influenced and there is a lot of greenery present. The stairs also occupy a prominent place, in order to stimulate physical movement. And the fact that you will find information on the TV screens about when the next train leaves is also a BREEAM criterion, because that stimulates public transport use. Furthermore, it is important for the assessment that water consumption is monitored." Klein Tuente: "You may not think about it, but both in Heerlen and Amsterdam the taps are sensor-controlled or a timer is present, so that the taps only allow a certain amount of water to flow. This also applies to the toilets and shower heads."

The BREEAM certificates awarded to Edge West and Heerlen are in line with APG's aim to have climate-neutral business operations by 2030. Part of this is energy-neutral housing. In concrete terms, this means that APG is looking at whether its offices comply with the Paris climate agreements. For this, APG uses the same CRREM method as for its investments in real estate. " According to our expectations, Edge West already meets the CRREM standards and for Heerlen we are looking at even greener ways of generating energy than gas," says Klein Tuente. "We also want to apply the lessons learned in our international offices. In this way, APG continues to work on sustainability. This is also a requirement for the BREEAM certificates, because they expire after three years. Moreover, it fits APG's strategy and meets our wish of 'practice what you preach'.  We demand more and more sustainability from our investments, and that is also something we as APG want to be a leader in. And with Edge West, we're the frontrunner. In that sense, the building fits perfectly with APG and with our aim to be an attractive employer."