Eco-friendly office designs
By Aimee Claire
Why being eco-friendly is worth it
When it comes to considering the environmental impact of office interior design, there is just no turning a blind eye any longer. Awareness of green issues is a matter of course in most aspects of life today and the professional business world is no exception.
A company that makes a real effort to make its offices as eco-friendly as possible wins on two counts; being sensitive to environmental matters creates a positive image with both the general public and its clients, and it is also simply more economical in the long term.
Green styleApproaching the interior design of an office space with eco matters in mind can be an interesting and fulfilling challenge.
As with any project related to an interior design, the emphasis should now be on the best use of available light and the use of responsibly sourced furniture and flooring, all balanced together in a workable layout. Additionally, when the objective is to incorporate eco-friendly measures wherever possible, there is the added satisfaction of researching the most efficient options all round.
When it comes to lighting, one of the most energy-efficient and attractive means of implementing a green strategy is to examine how best to use what is available naturally. This could be as basic as rearranging workspaces so that they get the optimal benefits of natural light entering an office space. Where sunlight is not universally available owing to window location or simply the local climate, energy-efficient daylight bulbs not only cut down on power costs but also create a less artificial feel to the office environment.
Sourcing furniture that is made from hardwoods that have been harvested sustainably, along with recycled, non-toxic materials is no longer a tricky option as the ready availability of such items is on the rise. A range of eco-friendly office furniture can be found from here.The same can be said for flooring, which is a huge investment in any commercial interior design project. Reclaimed wood, ceramic tile and carpet and rubber flooring made of recycled content are easily sourced these days. Anything hardwearing will of course last longer, which is very eco-friendly. An excellent choice is bamboo; not only is it extremely durable, it grows very quickly reducing any negative impact on the environment through over-harvesting.
Interiors are all about style too. These elegant eco-friendly materials come in all colours so there will be no shortage of choice.
Eco-friendly office materialsWhether it is the first foray into creating an eco-friendly office interior or the tenth, research is certainly the key for establishing the standard facts and figures and to become aware of the latest developments.
Points to look out for are materials that are certified eco-friendly, such as Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) woods, the designation meaning that the environment has been cared for in production. The use of paints and soft furnishings that are low in potentially toxic volatile organic compounds (VOCs) is also essential.
The obvious choices for soft furnishings are natural fabrics such as silks, cottons and wools as long as staff are not allergic to the latter.
In short, when designing an eco-friendly office, the investment in terms of time and capital will reap rewards for years to come.