When you mention sustainability, most people think of using green energy, recycling materials, and reducing emissions into the environment. However, over the years, sustainability has evolved dramatically to become a broader lifestyle choice covering everything we do, from fashion and diet to how we design our living and working spaces.
Most businesses and organizations are increasingly becoming aware of practices that they need to embrace to reduce their carbon footprint. Office premises have followed suit, with sustainability shifting from a “nice to have” to a “need to have” way of life in office settings. If you’re looking to embrace sustainability at the office but you don’t know where to start, here’s comprehensive coverage of the most crucial elements you need to consider.
Source Materials Sustainably
Whether you are redesigning your current office or moving to a new one, the materials you use to design it will directly dictate how sustainable it will be. Most products that have a negative impact on the environment also affect the well-being of the employees, so it’s crucial to ensure that you get the right materials.
Firstly, selecting low-volatile organic compound-emitting materials for designing your office is crucial. These include items such as carpets, paint, and adhesives, which can either improve or worsen the quality of air at the office. Making informed choices before getting these products will not only get you one step closer to sustainability but also create a healthier working environment.
If you don’t know the right materials for your sustainability goals, you can engage with your office designer from the beginning for recommendations instead of trying to fit them in at the end. You can even consider reusing existing materials to boost the sustainability of your office design.
Lighting is one of the most obvious ways of designing a more sustainable office space. There is a wide range of eco-friendly lights that come in all shapes, sizes, and designs that will come in handy during the designing process. Let’s have a brief look at some of them;
Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFL)
CFL lights are the most common type of energy-saving bulb. They work by exciting gases within the bulb and lighting up the phosphorus layer inside, which makes them more sustainable.
LED is the latest energy-efficient form of lighting. During their introduction, LED lights were dimmer, but that has changed, as they now provide the same amount of light as normal lighting, making them suitable for the office setting.
Apart from the new lighting technologies, there are various other changes that you can also make when designing your office to embrace sustainable lighting. One of the best adjustments that you can make is to adopt a daylighting design. This means adding more windows, light shafts, and skylights. This makes the most of natural light, saves you money, and most of all, conserves the environment.
The build phase of the office design process plays a crucial role in making your space sustainable. If you have a well-laid-out strategy for your dream office design, the first step is selecting your preferred environmentally friendly finishes and selecting a designer who will deliver the project in line with your sustainability needs.
A good designer should also ensure that the materials they strip out of the space during redesigning are managed properly. They should find ways of handling all recyclable materials and diverting all waste from contributing to the landfill. If you are able, designing an office space is the perfect time to reuse any items to reduce the number of materials you use on the project.