"Going green" is an in-demand office design trend — and it's only growing in popularity. There are countless benefits to designing a green office, including lowering your energy bills and carbon footprint while improving productivity and your employer branding.
Here are eight ways to design a green office of your own:
1. Encourage Natural Light
A more open workspace will allow the light in and reduce energy use. To design an open space, avoid adding unnecessary interior walls and aim for glass or glazed partitions that let in natural light. Think big windows, an open layout and drapes or blinds instead of heavy curtains.
When you do use electric lighting, make energy-efficient choices such as long-lasting, low-energy light bulbs. Sustainable design elements such as sensors and time switches for your devices and lighting can help reduce unnecessary energy wasting.
2. Choose Green Products
Instead of buying new, aim to build out your office using recycled, reclaimed, refurbished and sustainable materials. Look for durable and environmentally-friendly products that are sourced locally to prevent excessive shipping costs. If you're considering wooden furniture pieces, look for FSC-certified items that were sustainably harvested without damaging the forests.
3. Install Adequate Insulation
One of the most economical and eco-friendly ways to reduce your energy consumption is to add proper insulation throughout your office space. Most offices are rarely fully occupied, so adding individual radiators or thermostats to your office building plans allows workers to lower the heating and cooling as needed. In the summer, instituting a more casual dress code can encourage employees to keep cool without relying on central cooling.
4. Reuse and Recycle
Making small decoration and design changes can make a big difference. Institute an efficient waste policy, including centrally-located recycling areas instead of individual trash cans by each desk. Replace plastic or paper cups with ceramic mugs and request that employees bring in reusable water bottles. When it comes to furniture you no longer need, donate pieces rather than throwing them away.
5. Good Ventilation
An efficient ventilation system is key for a green office. All workers deserve to breathe clean air. Incorporate windows you can open to allow fresh air flow on a pleasant day. Make sure to use paints and materials certified as low VOC.
As a bonus ventilation tip, add plants around your office to freshen and purify the air.
6. Decrease Water Usage
There are plenty of practical ways to cut down your office's water usage. Install touch or push taps with special fittings to adjust the timing and water flow. You can also use water-efficient toilets and urinals to help conserve water.
7. Revamp the Printing Room
Before hitting "print," ask yourself whether it's really necessary. In an increasingly digital world, you can share most announcements over email and store files online. When you do have to print a document, stock up on recycled paper products.
8. Use Eco-Friendly Finishing Touches
Making sure your finishing materials — such as carpet, paint and furnishings — are environmentally-friendly, sustainable, and non-toxic. You'll also want to keep this in mind when it comes to your office cleaning supplies. Many contain harsh chemicals that can damage the environment, so stock up on commercial green products instead.
Designing a Green Office
Before making any major changes, ensure you're following all regulatory requirements for your office building plans. These laws and regulations are in place to ensure safety and environmental protection. Following these important standards from the beginning will ensure you reduce your carbon footprint and save money in the long run.
If you are looking for a beautiful green design for your business, we have a team of experts ready to help. Contact us today to get started.