Sustainable construction has become very popular in recent years in the Western world. As the modern world continues to enforce a more sustainable lifestyle, industries aim to be greener. With construction, this considers the materials used, energy-efficient power sources and the overall design.
Sustainability used to be aimed at using reusable and eco-friendly materials; however, that has all changed. Now, it looks at a lifestyle change and considers everything that could reduce your carbon footprint.
If your office design is relatively old and requires a modern touch to be more eco-friendly, then you should make the change. However, it isn’t just the design of your office that makes it eco-friendly. It is also the culture and well-being of your employees.
Before we begin, the first place you look to make your office more sustainable is your building. This includes modifying your existing building or moving into new premises. If you choose a new building, you must ensure BREEAM or LEED accredits it. This is the first step in assuring your office is more modern and sustainable.
This all depends on your budget for your office move. There are many things you can do to make it sustainable. This includes adding insulation in your warm to keep the heat in. Furthermore, you could design your office to maximise natural light instead of worrying about using electricity for lights. Another thing to ensure is natural ventilation for your office instead of air conditioning units which are not only bad for the environment but also expensive.
When constructing your building, CO2 emissions, energy efficiency, water usage, and air quality have to be considered. Additionally, your landlord should provide you with equipment to manage your energy usage.
Sustainably sourced materials are also essential for your construction project. After all, if you wish to be more eco-friendly, your office needs to be built with sustainable materials. This includes all of the furniture, such as desks, shelving, fabrics, and flooring, that a commercial fit-out team would do.
During the design of your office space, we recommend you pick low-volatile organic compound emitting materials. This will help with the air quality in your office space with the carpets, paint and adhesives used. High-volatile compound materials can be damaging over time, so many building accreditations will consider this as part of their grading criteria.
You must pick sustainable and organically sourced materials when considering the design of your office. Furthermore, the different materials you use will have sustainability accreditations.
If you want to achieve the sustainability goals you have set for your office, you need to communicate with your design project manager. They will advise you on which materials you use for your office design to achieve that goal. Furthermore, the products used are essential, although other things need to be considered for their carbon impact, including furniture and how materials are sourced.
When working with your design project manager, it is essential to discuss lighting. If you already have an office, consider getting an energy-efficient audit on that existing office. This would benefit the new office being built, highlighting the existing weaknesses and ensuring your new office does not suffer.
Although natural lighting is important, there will be some stages of the year when you require more light. For example, in the winter, the sun will set sooner, meaning your office will be dark for the final hours of the day. Ensure you use the correct lights for your building so they are energy efficient.
Ensure PIR sensors are installed in rooms that won’t be used often with your employees. Meeting rooms and where your employees eat and drink would be where you would install these lights. These lights will be on in your main office more frequently, so choose energy-efficient lightbulbs.
There are many reasons why you should ensure you have a sustainable office. The reason is to reduce your carbon footprint; however, it can also save you a lot of money; if you want your business to reduce its carbon footprint in the office, then great. However, you must be committed to making the changes we have mentioned and others to be more eco-conscious.
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