Sustainability is the name of the game in 2021, with businesses being judged just as much (if not more) for their commitment to protecting the environment as they are for their financial potential. Therefore, eco-conscious design is a hot topic among contemporary commercial developers. In order to make an office space more environmentally friendly, give strong consideration to any of the design ideas listed below.
Sliding Glass Doors
Sliding glass doors are the right choice for an eco-conscious office because they allow light to flow freely into and out of the space, even when closed. Not only does this help limit the need for electric lights, but it creates an open and inviting atmosphere in which employees do not feel sequestered from their contemporaries.
Customizable Office Partitions
Modular glass office walls offer the same light-transmitting benefits as sliding glass doors. In addition, they help limit future energy consumption through their ease of customizability.
The modern professional does not like to be confined to cramped cubicles day after day. He or she wants to be able to create unique collaborative spaces to meet the dynamic challenges faced on a daily basis. Rather than going through a major construction effort every time an office space needs to be updated, modular glass partitions are readily deployed to create any type of work area, requiring a mere fraction of the time and energy resources necessary for renovating traditional walls.
Exterior Work Areas
While the pandemic will go away at some point, the best practices that arose from months of social distancing are here to stay. As studies have shown that COVID-19 is most readily spread in tight, poorly-ventilated spaces, architects and commercial building managers will be looking for ways to create more open-air spaces that will limit the spread of future infectious outbreaks in the workplace.
Try to find ways to employ neglected terraces and seldom-used balconies in your current space, extending WiFi access to the building’s exterior and investing in portable office furniture. Make use of decorative screen panels, louvered pergolas, and modular partition walls as ways to make exterior spaces functional while ensuring privacy of all professionals.
The theme for contemporary office design is all about making use of natural light. To this effect, it is not uncommon to see office buildings featuring windows that span the full length of a wall, making the need for electric lights minimal during working hours.
The only downside to this approach is that a building’s interior can get very hot during the summer months. Unless the windows are made of innovative smart glass that can change its translucent/transparent properties to block the transmission of heatwaves in warmer temperatures, it will be necessary to pair prominent office windows with the appropriate sun shading devices in order to ensure that any savings in electric light consumption are not offset by increased air conditioning use.
Solid Surfaces and sustainable flooring
One underrated component of creating an eco-friendly office space is choosing materials that do not need to be frequently repaired or replaced, as such maintenance efforts will undoubtedly require significant energy consumption. Therefore, one way to make the office as durable as possible is to replace wood desks and shelves that are readily scratched and stained with innovative solid surface products.
Acrylic solid surface structures are fabricated into nonporous, one-piece designs that are resistant to scratches and blunt trauma damage, limiting the amount of resources required for cleaning and maintenance in a busy office environment. Solid surfaces can be finished in a number of attractive colors and designs, making it a strong choice to pair with innovative carpets by OBJECT CARPET to give the office an attractive appearance in addition to its eco-conscious layout. OBJECT CARPET just launched the Ippolito Fleitz collection that is made from regenerated ECONYL® nylon, a special fiber manufactured from recycled nylon waste, offering unparalleled sustainability for any commercial office space.
When going green in commercial anterooms and waiting areas, it is a great idea to bypass the traditional upholstered chairs and leather sofas and go with environmentally friendly Sacco Goes Green poufs. Originally designed in the 1960s to appeal to non-conformists, the Sacco pouf fits right in with the modern push to challenge the status quo of what a traditional workspace looks like.
What’s more: the Sacco pouf has evolved over the years to feature a completely sustainable design. Designed with a BioFoam® microsphere core that is completely biodegradable, the Sacco Goes Green pouf is cased in ECONYL® regenerated nylon, making the entire pouf more sustainable and avoiding the extraction of precious new resources.
Durable Knobs and Rails
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is likely that the frequent cleaning of high-traffic public spaces will be the new norm in commercial spaces. As a result, materials that will break down in the face of persistent scrubbing should be avoided. Choose stainless steel door knobs and interior metal handrails so that the appearance of the office is not degraded by the regular application of disinfectant spray and cleaning efforts.
Designing environmentally friendly commercial spaces is a top priority in 2021. By choosing any of the aforementioned eco-conscious design ideas, businesses can expedite their quest toward greater sustainability.
Skylar Ross is a contributor to the Innovative Building Materials blog. He is a content writer for the construction and home improvement industries with an interest in landscaping, outdoor remodeling, and interior design. Skylar is focused on educating homeowners, contractors, and architects on innovative materials and methods of construction that increase property value, improve sustainability, and create a warm and welcoming ambiance.