With the increasing demand to adopt greener practices in virtually all walks of life, more and more businesses are transitioning to sustainable office designs, workspaces that address a goal to be ecological. Implementing a sustainable design within a workspace comes with many benefits, including improving staff wellbeing, creating a more cost-effective office environment and helping a business be portrayed in a more responsible and credible light. Amspec, office design North West specialists, explore some of the processes involved with making an office sustainable and how to create a sustainable office design centred on the environmental, social and economic demands of a business.
The crux of crafting a sustainable office is focused on providing a durable and sustainable environment without compromising the Earth’s resources. The materials required for a sustainable office are therefore vitally important.
It is no secret that building construction relies on huge quantities of natural resources. Using recycled building materials is one of the most effective ways to create a sustainable office. Reusing building materials minimise the need to extract and process raw materials from the ground, thereby reducing harmful greenhouse gas emissions. Not only this, but salvaging materials reduces both the environmental and economic impact from waste disposal.
Sustainable office furniture
As well as the building construction of an office or work space, furniture plays a key part in sustainable office design. Manchester based Amspec are committed to delivering bespoke office furniture that is tailored for our client’s specific needs and is sustainable. For example, all the materials Amspec uses in our sustainable office design are sourced from reputable suppliers. The timber we use in our sustainable office fit-outs, new builds or refurbishments are not only of an exceptionally high quality but have been harvested responsibly under licence from sustainable forests.
A green office can be a valuable asset in helping businesses achieve a more cost-effective workspace. As Nigel Holden, head of energy and environment at the Co-operative Group told The Guardian in a report about the company’s new sustainable headquarters, designed to use half of the energy ad 80% less carbon than its former headquarters:
“It’s about our ethical commitments, it’s about our brand, but it’s also about halving our consumption and bills.”
Part of the process of developing a sustainable office design is to eliminate energy use and cut emissions wherever possible. For example, in the initial fact-finding and researching stage of our office interior design, Manchester based Amspec works with our clients to draw up a more energy-efficient building.
Whether it’s replacing old, draughty windows and doors with more efficient double-glazed alternatives, implementing fully integrated heating and cool technology into an office, or recovering ‘waste heat’ from the likes of refrigeration, extractor fans and IT systems and reusing it in other parts of a building to provide heat or hot water, implementing energy-saving strategies will ultimately help save a company money on energy bills in the long-term.
By creating a sustainable and quality office design, Liverpool and other North West based companies may have to pay upfront costs to install such sustainable systems, but the costs are often recovered fairly quickly.
Social benefits of a sustainable office
The social benefits of a sustainable office design are centred on businesses making improvements to the health, wellbeing and quality of life of their employees. For example, a poorly-lit office with little or no daylight and that has little ventilation and poor indoor air quality, which has an uninspiring design, nowhere to take breaks and uncomfortable office furniture has long been associated with having negative impacts on workforces. These negative impacts include employee absenteeism, illness, fatigue, stress and distractions.
By contrast a bright, airy, comfortable, creative, inspiring office design, with good ventilation and natural lighting and plenty of space to take breaks, socialise and integrate are proven to generate more positive states of wellbeing and health amongst workers, ultimately leading to a more loyal workforce with less employee turnover.
In fact the term ‘new sustainability’ has been coined in reference to office design that is focused on employee engagement. As Entrepreneur highlights, office design features such as incubation, cross pollination and co-working are meaning more and more walls and dividers are being brought down in favour of a more collaborative, transparent and creative office layout and design.
Inspiring and creative sustainable office design
Which brings us on to creating a sustainable office design that inspires creativity. As well as the social benefits a sustainable office brings, green workspaces that prioritise sustainable practices naturally inspire creativity. For example, being situated next to a window, with views, natural daylight, at a comfortable and spacious workstation, in an office that encourages cross-departmental collaboration, regular breaks in a designated area and socialising with colleagues, will go a long way in inspiring employee creativity and productiveness.
For bespoke office interior design in Liverpool, Manchester, the North West and beyond, Amspec has years of experience designing inspirational offices which put sustainability at the core. Get in touch to see how our team can make your office sustainable.