When it comes to “going green,” what often comes to mind are individual decisions
such as recycling and replacing old incandescent lightbulbs.
But increasingly, business owners are working green elements into their plans
as they lay out their dream offices. In fact, a survey of 200 Australian
business leaders found that four out of five aimed to be more
This is just good business: Making your office building as green as
possible works both boosts your bottom line (as these decisions generally save
money in the long run) and, of course, work from an environmental friendliness
So, here are a few ways that businesses are making green buildings the
next big thing in office design.
Recycle, reuse, repurpose
In the office especially, empowering and encouraging the recycling and
reuse of resources goes a long way in terms of reducing emissions.
For any paper waste, recycle bins should be readily accessible. Rather
than focusing on the placement of trash bins around the office, make sure that
recycling areas are the priority.
Beyond paper, make sure that water fountains and coolers include enough
space for refilling reusable bottles and containers as alternatives to
disposable plastic water bottles. Stock reusable cups instead of disposable
Successful recycling and reuse programs are as much about enabling
employees as they are about encouraging them – and smart green design helps do just
Design flexible spaces
“Reuse” in green design is about much more than bottles and recycled
paper – it’s about furniture and space, as well.
If your office is full of areas and rooms that can only be used for a
single purpose, and furniture that’s limited in its flexibility, it could
probably use a green redesign.
Many savvy business owners are reimagining their offices such that
different spaces can pull double or even triple duty.
Adjustable desks, chairs, and other furniture can accommodate many
different employees, while things like dividers and modular furniture allow rooms
or areas to be completely rearranged depending on the business’s needs that
These and other kinds of furniture can be found at Office Products Depot and other major office suppliers.
Designing with multifunctionality in mind support a more efficient – and
green – office.
Lighting is the most constant draw on energy resources in the office, as
sufficient light is always needed to get work done.
And while swapping out older fixtures and lightbulbs for more efficient
models can help, an even greener move is to design the office around available
Making workspaces more open can allow in more natural light. In
designing a green office space, it’s important to pay attention to where the
largest windows are – and put important areas such as workspaces and meeting
If possible, adding large skylights can help bring more natural light to
areas that don’t normally get much of it.
Keep things insulated
It often falls under the radar, but one of the biggest drains on
resources in an office is temperature control.
Residential designers understand the importance of water efficiency, but
this is an important factor to consider in office design as well.
While folks generally aren’t showering at the office, they’re still
using water, whether they’re washing their hands, using the toilet, or even
cleaning dishes in the office kitchen.
To conserve water, touch or push taps can be ideal, while for areas with
more continuous water usage (such as the kitchen tap), low-flow fixtures should
Water-efficient toilets and urinals make a great deal of difference in
terms of water efficiency as well.
Going green in the world of office design means thinking about every
resource, top to bottom – and there’s nothing more fundamental than water.
Green buildings are an up-and-coming trend in office design, and for
very good reason.
A green office helps forward-thinking businesses reduce their negative
impact on the environment, improve the company’s image, and save money over the
Incorporating environmental friendliness into the design process makes
the commitment to a green office fundamental – and everyone working in the
office will be empowered to do their share in terms of reducing emissions.