As sustainable habits become more widespread, green solutions have started to inform business practices. Most companies are now ensuring their office spaces is environmentally friendly and are aiming to be LEED-gold certified. Moreover, this sustainable shift has inspired and impacted the design, construction and property sectors as perceptions adjust towards creating greener buildings and more sustainable office build-outs. Previously, only those committed to the environmental cause attempted to make their workplace greener. However, in recent years, the City of Vancouver has required commercial developments requesting rezoning to be designed and built to attain LEED-gold certification. Furthermore, to lease or sublease floors in these new buildings, businesses must have sustainable offices that meet the LEED certification sustainability standards.
As a result, we have compiled our top three tips to assist you in making your office build-out as eco-friendly as possible.
Plan To Reduce, Reuse, And Recycle Materials In A Sustainable Manner
Sustainable design processes are established early in the life cycle of a project. Defining your goals for the level of sustainability you want to achieve is critical to success. The first step in creating a low waste, highly sustainable office is to appropriately tear down and dispose of the previous office configuration. Several companies have emerged in recent years that will deconstruct and salvage office materials and find ways to reuse them. When throwing out old elements and furniture, consider whether you really need to get rid of them.
Try to reduce new resources and reuse those that have already been used. Moreover, moving into a new workplace does not necessitate replacing everything. It is still possible to create a modern space that meets employee expectations by refreshing or reconfiguring previously used elements. If you decide you cannot reuse something, try donating to a charity or another company that may need it. Reducing waste, reusing materials, and refreshing furniture are great ways to ensure a sustainable office build-out.
Use Sustainably Sourced Materials
After determining which products can be reused and recycled, you may determine that some elements cannot be refurbished. There are many reasons something cannot be reused such as deterioration, breakage, and wear and tear over time. Therefore, it is critical to choose durable and long lasting products. Locally sourced sustainable materials are also great alternatives and include several ecological and environmental benefits. For one, you can help reduce the annual emission of greenhouse gases. Sourcing products from overseas like lumber increases energy consumption as transporting goods consumes significant amounts of fossil fuel. Furthermore, a study by Timmermann and Dibdiakova found that the transport aspect of the timber supply chain had the highest impact in the climate change category.
Using locally sourced materials also ensures that products follow adequate safety and environmental measures. Countries such as Canada and the United States have more regulations and stricter guidelines on sourcing natural materials such as wood and marble. The products and materials you install in your office will have an impact on how sustainable it is, so it is critical that you select products that are ethically sourced and sustainable.
Sustainable Office Designs Keeps Longevity In Mind
A critical part of designing responsibly is considering the longevity of the design and materials. Creating timeless designs that do not need to be updated often is an uncomplicated way to create a low-waste work environment. Avoid design trends and fads that will be out next year, and instead focus on your workplace values and goals to create a design that will be relevant for years to come. It is important to note that leasing constraints may influence how frequently a design must be redone. One company may sign a three-year lease and then decide to relocate due to expansion or scaling back. Creating flexible floor plans with removable walls or easily adaptable spaces, on the other hand, is one way to ensure that your office design is timeless. By facilitating an easily reconstructed space, new tenants will save money and time when redesigning their office and reduce the need to discard waste from the previous workplace.
Sustainability At Aura
Our mission as Aura is to have a positive impact on communities, and in order to do so, we must also positively impact future communities. We must all work together to address the climate crisis if future generations are to enjoy what beautiful British Columbia has to offer. As workplace designers and builders, it is our responsibility to start the conversation and find greener solutions so that we can positively impact current and future communities. You can go through the process of designing for sustainability on your own but communicating with professionals who are educated on sustainable solutions will be beneficial. Furthermore, if you are concerned about the environment, consult with your designer to ensure that your office built-out is as environmentally friendly as possible.
If you are interested in developing an office interior design strategy that works for your business and helps the earth, contact us today.