5 Design Options for Sustainable Office Buildings
When you think about building a sustainable office, you probably think about some of the big “green” changes seen in the past decade, such as using solar power, which can be expensive and unreliable at times. However, there are many, many other steps you can take to make your office space sustainable, increasing both the cost of operations and the happiness and well-being of your employees during operations. Some of the options you might consider include:
A huge percentage of your monthly energy bill comes from the operation of artificial lighting. You can reduce those numbers by taking advantage of natural lighting. This involves putting up more glass panes in your office space, such as skylights and floor-to-ceiling windows. Open floor plans within the office, with fewer desks and cubicles, can also help to bring more natural light into a space and diffuse it properly throughout.
More natural light not only means paying less for artificial lighting, but it also has a positive impact on both the health and productivity of your employees, creating a happier work environment overall.
Selecting Your Materials
When you’re building or renovating an office building, consider the use of more efficient materials. Selecting sustainable resources for both the interior and exterior of your building is a must if you want a truly green experience. Switching old, worn-out vinyl siding with wood siding, improving insulation and using metal roofing are all excellent ideas for your office’s exterior, while using wooden furniture and other low-emission additions can make a huge difference. The use of natural materials also helps to improve the air quality inside of your building, which is good for employees.
Maximize Space Use
It’s not unusual to have some unused space in your building. However, leaving it empty is both inefficient and expensive in the long run. That’s why you need to learn how to use empty spaces properly. Your main options are either redesigning the office space in question to make this empty space usable, or closing off doorways and vents to the area altogether. This keeps you from paying to cool and heat spaces that aren’t used, and saves you a chunk of cash each and every month.
Replacing your toilets and sinks with low-flow and water-efficient models can be expensive up front, but it’s an upgrade that pays for itself over time. You can also rest assured knowing you’re lessening the pollution in your area and reducing the issue of water waste.
Having proper insulation is the key to keep the interior of your building cool or warm without using a ton of energy. While this seems like a rather obvious step, it’s on that many owners tend to overlook during their quest to construct a sustainable office.
Following these steps can help you to craft your ideal sustainable office and ensure you’re doing what’s best for both your budget and your employees in the long run.