Not only is it trendy to opt for green office design, there are several tangible benefits that it brings to the table, too. Designing a green office helps you lower your carbon footprint, reduce the building’s environmental impact, save on power and heating costs, and boost your corporate image.
That’s why green office building plans are increasingly the new normal. In this article, we’ll discuss 7 sustainable office design ideas – let’s dive in.
Sustainable (Green) Office Building Plan & Design Ideas
1. Use renewable energy
Renewable energy sources such as solar panels have a higher installation cost than traditional electric grid connections, but the upside is that recurring costs of usage and maintenance are extremely low. What’s more, you’re shielded from things like power outages as you’re not dependent on a grid.
If you don’t want to install and maintain solar panels yourself, it’s possible to opt for green energy plans offered by your local electricity supplier. It’s possible that they’re priced more competitively than other plans that use traditional fuels like coal and nuclear energy.
2. Maximize natural light
Large, floor-to-ceiling windows add significant aesthetic value to your building and have a direct impact on employee productivity and health, too.
Natural light has several health benefits, such as boosting vitamin D levels, improving sleep, and fighting seasonal depression. If your office building design plan relies on artificial light with heavy glares, it can make your employees feel tired and cause them to lose motivation.
Not convinced? Consider this: Employees at Saint Gobain reported a 97% increase in sales generated leads and 101% increase in leads per call after moving into a new green office building that maximized natural light, outdoor views, and walking trails.
These new studies show that green building design ideas can lead to changes in your commercial building that pay for themselves over the long run.
3. Focus on Indoor Air Quality (IAQ)
Harvard University simulated working conditions, in conventional buildings vs green buildings and what it found was that employees in green buildings reported significantly higher cognitive scores than those who worked in conventional buildings.
A key reason was the lack of volatile organic compounds and associated improvements in air ventilation and quality.
The findings were corroborated by the Environmental Protection Agency who determined that indoor environments can have higher levels of pollution than outdoor environments. Poor indoor air quality can decrease performance levels, contribute to more sick days, and cost tens of billions of dollars in lost productivity and medical care.
Opting for an eco-friendly office can have a direct impact on your firm’s bottom line.
4. Recycle and Reuse
Buying furniture for your new office is a costly affair. Fortunately, not only are recycled office desks and chairs cheaper, they’re also much better for the environment. At the same time, you can promote an effective waste policy by placing recycling bins in convenient areas of the office and encouraging employees to engage in practices like recycling glass as opposed to throwing it down the garbage chute.
5. Use an energy-efficient HVAC unit
Regardless of the type of your sustainable office building, you will have to heat it in the winter and provide cooling during the warmer summer months. That’s why an efficient HVAC system can work wonders for your electricity bill; not only does it reduce energy costs, it has a direct impact on your carbon footprint as well.
An energy-efficient HVAC unit utilizes aspects such as:
- Trench heating
Trench heating systems eliminate draft and provides a gentle and continuous airflow. It also helps you free up floor space as there’s no need for radiators on the wall or surrounding areas.
You can place SoHo trench radiators around each room’s perimeter. This will offer even heating and virtually eliminate all draft, keeping your occupants comfortable in all areas.
- Underfloor Air Distribution
Underfloor Air Distribution systems can result in 30% lower energy usage, improved office productivity, and upgraded indoor air quality. It’s a new air distribution approach which is rapidly becoming a preferred solution for heating and cooling office buildings.
- Perimeter Heating
Another aspect of energy-efficient HVAC systems is effective utilization of perimeter heating. This is a method where warm air is distributed through ducts installed in the surrounding areas.
So there you have it, 5 green office building design ideas that should help you map out your next project. A green certified building is environmentally friendly, helps bring in fresh air, allows for efficient heat and cool, and contributes to a happier workforce.