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Smart building equals smart working for Microsoft Copenhagen

Innovative software makes use of the natural rhythms of the day to save energy and create optimised workspace

Working with nature to increase energy efficiency and workers' feel good
Working with nature to increase energy efficiency and workers' feel good

Microsoft’s new Danish office has been created from the ground-up as a smart building with the help of ABB’s KNX automation platform. The new 18,000 square metre office in Lyngby, near Copenhagen, makes use of “daylight harvesting” as well as controls that work in line with the “natural rhythm of the day” to improve the energy efficiency of the buildings and comfort levels for those working inside.


The project was delivered by Danish electrical contractor Hoffman and the building designed by architects Henning Larsen. It is made up of two adjoining cubes and features a large V-shaped atrium running through. Its façade and ceiling are glass, facilitating use of the daylight harvesting technology. KNX uses the Internet of Things, Services and People (IoTSP) to adapt to the day’s rhythm with sensors measuring the levels of natural light and presence detection in the building with the system regulating lighting and shutter controls. By using the warmth of the sun and light and adjusting the blinds, energy savings can be made and the building able to maintain the perfect indoor climate. Temperature, air quality and lighting is all optimised.


“This is a landmark building project using state-of-the-art solutions fitting for a leading technology company like Microsoft,” said Tarak Mehta, president of ABB’s electrification products. “This is a great example of two technology pioneers collaborating to mitigate the impact on the environment through IoTSP technology.”


ABB specialises in power and automation technology to help organisations improve performance and lower their environmental input. The KNX platform is used in several thousand installations worldwide and studies show that intelligent building control can reduce energy usage by up to 30 per cent. KNX is accepted as the world’s first open standard for the control of all types of buildings from industrial and commercial to residential.


Microsoft’s headquarters in Denmark are designed to be a workplace of the future with the architects claiming that the building supports employees’ individual ways of thinking, working and co-operating via the flexible layout and latest technologies. As well as being the workplace for 900 employees, Microsoft wants the public to interact with it, too, and it features a study area for students from nearby educational institutions. The building is designed to demonstrate new ways of working and hopes to inspire businesses from Denmark and abroad to create the workplace of the future. The opening of the Microsoft office is also seen as an important landmark for Lyngby which wants to become a leading university city and a centre for knowledge and creativity in Northern Europe.


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