Category: Office Design
When carrying out an office refurbishment project, there are a huge number of things to consider, but one which has grown in importance and popularity over recent years has been the idea of sustainability and 'green' design. Not only can this potentially save you money on your energy bills, it can improve your reputation as a business.
On a global level, more than half of all consumers are willing to pay higher prices for goods and services offered by environmentally conscious organisations. Besides which, there is something to be said for doing what you can to help. Here, we take a look at some ideas to help make your office design more sustainable.
1. Natural Light
It is often said that it is more difficult to make an existing workplace more sustainable than to create a sustainable workplace from scratch, but one very simple step you can take is to maximise the amount of natural light that gets in. As a consequence, this will minimise the amount of artificial light you need to use.
Make sure all of your windows are completely unobstructed and try to position workstations and key work touchpoints in areas that natural light reaches. Of course, it is important to consider the comfort of employees, so computer screens should be positioned to minimise the disruption caused by light getting in.
If you are able to make changes to the structure of your building, natural light should be a priority, so consider increasing the size of your windows or adding roof lanterns if possible. As an added bonus, the increased presence of plenty of natural light in the workplace has been shown to improve both the well-being and overall performance of employees. Where artificial light is required, energy efficient lighting should be used and its usage should be closely monitored.
2. Workplace Ventilation
Another way to potentially make savings on energy bills and improve the sustainability of your office design is by improving workplace ventilation. The use of passive ventilation systems, as well as windows that can be opened, will both help to avoid the need for energy-consuming air conditioning systems.
While many office buildings may still require the use of an air conditioning system, they will likely need to use it a lot less if they take steps to improve the overall ventilation of their workplace. If an air conditioning system is still needed, try to turn to one which is as energy-efficient as possible.
A typical office building is going to use quite a lot of energy on a day-to-day basis, but small steps can make a big difference. Moreover, where it is possible, the installation of photovoltaic solar panels on the roof can help to generate the electricity required to power air conditioning units and the like.
3. Sustainable Materials
Last, but by no means least, most office refurbishment projects inevitably mean changes to furniture, including tables and chairs. This provides an excellent opportunity to make some changes to the sustainability and eco-friendliness of your office, as well as some of your overall business practices.
Committing to only buying furniture made using sustainably sourced materials can limit the impact your refurbishment project has on the environment, while also helping other ethical businesses. Try to also commit to using materials which can be recycled, so that if you ever refurbish again, you can avoid waste.
Switching to sustainable materials also gives you the opportunity to examine some other business practices. Could you reduce the use of paper or go paperless entirely? Could you reduce the amount of printing you do? Could you recycle empty ink cartridges, batteries and other items? And can you recycle any equipment you are replacing?
Posted 17th July, 2017< Back to articles