The majority of companies, regardless of size, are working toward more eco-friendly and sustainable business practices. We are all aware of the three R’s of going green: reduce, recycle, reuse. However, we can also add the word – redesign to that list. Here are some tips to help you redesign your office space so that it is not only environmentally-friendly, but cost-effective as well.
Start from the top
Corporate offices and buildings use approximately one-fifth of America’s energy production. Installing a green roof, which consists of a layer of plants or vegetation that acts as a heat insulator during the winter, can cut down on energy use and eventually become a source of further income.
Daylight Equates to Savings
Install windows that allow you to take advantage of the daylight; thereby, using less electricity. Design your office space to optimize natural light.
Opt for LED Lights, Turn Down the Power
LED lighting can replace energy inefficient incandescent, CFL, and halogen bulbs. LED lights such as 3M’s Commercial LED Advanced Light A19, pictured, use just a fraction of the power of an incandescent bulb to produce the same amount of light.
Make Sure Windows are Installed Properly
If installed properly, windows can increase air circulation, decrease indoor pollution, block out the heat, and keep in the cold.
Create Less Waves by Reducing Your Water Footprint
Some businesses are building a rain harvesting system, specifically for maintaining the grounds and for toilet flushing.
Consider Furniture Materials
Hon Manufacturing uses soy-based foam in many of its most popular office chairs. Soy foam reduces greenhouse gas emissions in comparison to the traditional petroleum-based upholstery foams.
Don’t Just Save a Tree, Support a Forest
Office furniture manufacturers such as Trendway, Humanscale, and National have certifications from the Forestry Stewardship Council (FSC) and the Rainforest Alliance which boasts that their wood has come from sustainably harvested forests or is reclaimed.
Look for the Energy Star Label: The Green Gold Star
The Environmental Protection Agency issues an Energy Star Label to products that are proven to conserve energy. Buy products such as climate control systems and computer equipment that have this Energy Star label as their software is programmed to automatically turn off when it is not in use.
Collaborate: Save Space and the Environment
When designing your office, it is best to think about smart room division. Logically, you would want to make sure that you are conserving space and saving energy by reducing the amount of private offices.
Make Going Green, Easy
Encourage your staff to cut down on the pollution caused by their commute by providing parking spaces for bicycles. Not only will your business become more eco-friendly, but your employees will improve their overall health.
Admittedly, some of these options can only be done with a big budget, but as you can see from the list above, there are multitudes of ways to create and sustain an eco-friendly office by simply redesigning the layout and refurbishing the interior with recycled and/or non-toxic materials. Our specialists can help you to make wiser and environmentally-conscious decisions concerning your office space. Contact us to get started.