When you are planning for a new office fitout, it is important to take into account how you can help protect the environment by choosing sustainable options. Why? Our world needs it. In a study conducted by Australia’s Centre for International Economics (CIE), it was discovered that 23 percent of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions come from the building sector. If nothing is done about this soon, the Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council (ASBEC) predicts that the gas emissions will more than double by 2050. To prevent this, companies are encouraged to make their businesses more environmentally friendly. One way you can help is through a sustainable office fitout.
Here are a few steps to follow in planning a sustainable office fitout:
Re-use or Recycle
Before you start planning for your office fitout, the first thing you should do is take a look at all the office equipment and supplies you have acquired over the years. Pretty sure, you’ve collected a lot of furniture and appliances you don’t need and that are just gathering dust. Determine items that you want to keep and those you can give away. For those you can still use, such as office chairs, you can still have them re-upholstered to match the new office design you have in mind. Then, you don’t need to spend a lot in purchasing new chairs for your office fitout.
As for those item which you don’t need anymore, you can always donate these to charities. This approach certainly reduces wastage and can contribute to helping the environment.
Use Appliances which Save Energy
With the latest technology, it’s so easy to make your company more environmentally-friendly. To achieve a sustainable office fitout, what you can do is replace your old appliances with new ones which have good energy ratings or star ratings. Energy-rated appliances may be more expensive, but they will definitely be a good investment. In the long run, new, energy-saving equipment will help you save energy and money. In a study by the Carbon Trust, it’s been shown that a 20 percent reduction in energy cost is equivalent to achieving a 5 percent increase in sales.
Take Advantage of Natural Light
You can also consider how to introduce more natural light when you’re planning your office fitout, saving energy. One way to do this is through the use of wide glass windows. During day time when the sun is bright, you don’t need to turn on all your office lights. Use the sunlight.
It is also possible to install an intelligent lighting system in your office because it turns off the lights when no one is around.
Paint the Walls with Lighter Colors
When fitting out a new office, it is likely that you will also consider changing your wall colors. If you’re going to paint your office walls, think about choosing lighter colors such as white. These types of colors reflect light, so they make your office space much brighter. Hence, you do not need to turn on all your office lights as often during work hours.
Once you’ve decided on the paint color, also consider buying paints that are low in chemical content. These kinds of paints are less damaging to the environment because they reduce the carbon content in the air. Thus, they contribute greatly to the greenhouse effect. On a side note, this also makes the air much cleaner to breathe as there are no harmful chemicals mixed with it.
Use LED Light Bulbs
Though you may have already introduced wide glass windows to your office space to maximize sunlight, you still need to have lighting installed as part of your office fitouts. Instead of traditional incandescent lights which consume a lot of energy and produce a lot of heat, why not go for new-generation LED lights?
Producing light which can match those fluorescent ones, the LED light bulbs can last up to 10 times longer. As such, you save money in the long run for you do not need to change your lights constantly. Another advantage is that these are durable and remain cool at all times. Therefore, they lessen the heat buildup in your office space and also reduce your costs of air conditioning.
Update Desktop Computers to Laptops
Laptops will definitely help you save on electric bills, as these machines use 20 percent less energy than desktop computers. Laptops are more energy-efficient because they are already a combination of monitor and computer and are designed for low power consumption, as they operate from a battery. Once you’ve updated to laptops, it’s also best that you instruct your employees to turn them off before and after work. While operating in sleep mode, laptops still continue to use some energy, adding to your electricity bills.
Use Waterless Urinals
Water is one of the most important resources we have, so we shouldn’t waste it. To help achieve this goal, you can replace your bathroom urinals with waterless ones. This type of urinal saves about 20,000 to 45,000 gallons of water a year, since you don’t use water to flush!
On the topic of conserving water, another way you can do this is to introduce hand sanitizers in your office bathrooms. Instead of your employees using running water to wash their hands all the time, they can also use these hand sanitizers. Aside from keeping hands germ-free, this also reduces water use. Therefore, you save up on your water bills and conserve your water resources.
These are just some suggestions on how you can achieve a sustainable office fitout, saving energy and helping the environment. When you aim to have a sustainable office fitout, this will also have a positive effect on your business. Clients typically prefer to use businesses that can demonstrate a track record of sustainability.
In order to achieve a sustainable office fitout, contact a professional office fitout company to assist you in achieving sustainable outcomes for your new office fitout and refurbishment.