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Sustainable Offices: Offices That Protect Their Employees and the Environment

Environmental consequences are felt in almost every aspect of our lives, and it’s time for businesses to do their part. Offices and commercial buildings take a large portion of the world’s energy production. For this reason, companies are beginning to realize their environmental impact and the importance of a sustainable office environment to employee’s creativity, productivity, and well-being.

In sustainable office design, designers aim to reduce the adverse impacts of commercial buildings on the planet by incorporating green methods in architecture and interior design. These include eco-friendly innovations such as sustainable materials, energy-saving technology, and other aspects that preserve the ecological balance. One example is the use of electric hedge trimmers to avoid the use of toxic fuel and reduce exhaust.

A sustainable office design is a great investment for companies looking for functional offices with sustainability in mind. Its benefits extend to employee well-being by enhancing their comfort, productivity, and quality of life in an office environment. To know more about sustainable office design, here are some design ideas to create an eco-friendly workspace.

Energy-efficient systems

office meeting

Energy efficiency is one of the top priorities when designing a sustainable office. The goal is to limit waste and energy consumption as much as possible. It also involves plenty of factors, such as heating, refrigeration, air conditioning, plumbing systems, and the choice of furniture and office equipment.

In most commercial spaces, electric lighting is one of the main culprits of high energy consumption. Avoid this by installing energy-saving light bulbs, such as LED lighting, a popular option for eco-friendly lighting.

If you want to save more on electricity, an ideal choice is to go for natural light. For example, installing glass windows is more economical than standard ones. This is because glass saves energy by allowing natural light to come in even if you close the windows and doors. Instead of relying on artificial lights, you have the sun as your light source, reducing electricity bill costs during the daytime.

Besides its energy-saving benefit, sunlight creates a healthy work environment for employees. This is because exposure to the outdoors improves the mental health of building occupants. Getting some sun increases serotonin, also known as the happy hormone, which stabilizes mood and well-being.

Another technique is to install a green roof. This type of roofing system provides shade while removing heat from the surrounding air and roof surface. Instead of plain concrete, a green roof serves as the extension of the existing roof by covering it with a layer of grass, plants, and other vegetation. It acts as the insulator during summer to reduce extreme heat and trap heat inside during the winter.

Office furniture

A sustainable office uses repurposed or reused furniture pieces. Throwing off old but usable desks to accommodate eco-friendly furniture certainly defeats that purpose. Any sustainable item shipped from overseas isn’t truly eco-friendly once it reaches you. The key is to find old furniture pieces you can salvage or restored. It will save the company money and allow you to use your creative ideas to redesign or restore old furniture.

As much as possible, choose furniture pieces that are either reconfigured, repurposed, or refurbished. If you really need to buy one, make sure it’s made of recyclable and non-toxic materials. While buying cheap furniture saves a lot of costs, investing in quality furniture ensures longer usage. It should be durable, timeless, adaptable, and easy to maintain. Lastly, make sure to buy locally to lessen energy consumption when shipping the item.

Green walls

One effective way to achieve a sustainable office design while looking stylish is to install a green wall. Also called “living walls,” green walls work the same as green roofs. Instead of plain walls, you have plants installed on the building’s outdoor or indoor surface. Many would think it’s tough to maintain, but green walls rely on a hydroponics system, a type of plant cultivation without the use of soil.

Green walls are a perfect choice for companies that want to establish a strong eco-friendly statement. In turn, this will enhance the appearance of any room while adding texture and natural color that’s always in style. This will also provide cleaner air quality, a must-have element of a sustainable office environment.

As the environmental situation worsens, companies should step up their game by taking advantage of the sustainable office design to reduce their environmental impact and costs of running a commercial space. Going green doesn’t mean compromising aesthetics; it’s all about finding the balance of creating a functional office where employees’ health is well taken care of.

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