How To Create A Sustainable Office Fit-Out

  December 11, 2023      Offices

Regardless of your industry, staying sustainable in your business is important. But this extends past your day to day operations, it also means ensuring that the office that you and your business use every day is environmentally friendly as well.

Although the word “sustainable” is thrown around a lot these days, there are ways to actually achieve a sustainable office fit-out without blowing out your budget and while actually being environmentally friendly (and not just saying you are). A sustainable office fit-out or office refurbishment is all about using the right materials that are not only friendly to the environment, but also reusable so as not to diminish our limited natural resources. Beyond being environmentally friendly, a sustainable office fit-out is also friendly and sustainable to the staff members working in the office; this is just as important.

Benefits of Sustainable Office Fit-Out Practices

Having a sustainable office fit-out has its benefits beyond just caring for the environment, it can be good for the bottom line as well. Having energy efficient lighting and appliances reduces the running cost of a building, for example. Reducing the materials used in an office’s fit-out or refurbishment also means less material to remove and get rid of when it’s time for your end of lease make good, again reducing cost.

Beyond cost, having an environmentally friendly company, including the office space, can be great for branding and the perception of your business. It may not be possible for every aspect of a business to be 100% eco-friendly, but businesses that do what they can, where they can, are generally perceived better by the public than those who don’t.

A more sustainable office can also lead to increased employee morale, which in turn can lead to better productivity. This is because people like things like natural light in their office spaces. Increased air quality from a sustainable office fit-out also makes workers happier and enjoy their office space a lot more.

Although some aspects of sustainable design cost more upfront, they save money in the long term and quickly pay for themselves. Other aspects of sustainable design cost the same or are less expensive than alternatives but still have the benefits listed above. Sustainable office fit-outs are win-win.

Fit-Out Your Office With Sustainable Materials

One of the more obvious parts of sustainable office design is the use of sustainable materials, but this is also a broad topic to talk about.

A basic aspect of using sustainable materials is making sure the materials you use are renewable, recycled, or at least low impact. A common area to take advantage of this is in flooring. Materials like bamboo are considered renewable and it also makes great flooring. Alternatively, you can use recycled timber for flooring , partitions, or other aspects of the office fit-out.

What people often miss out on though, is that a polished concrete floor can often be the most sustainable option for flooring, and it looks great too! This is because the floor of the base building is often concrete. While concrete isn’t usually an environmentally friendly option, by not adding anything more to the building, there’s no additional environmental impact.

Beyond sustainable materials, it may also be worthwhile to use low VOC paint. VOC stands for volatile organic compounds. Not only are these compounds bad for the environment, they are also bad for people breathing them in every day. A low VOC paint benefits everybody.

If your office space has a warehouse attached, you may be surprised to find out that pallet racking can be sustainable too. While steps can be taken to minimise the environmental impacts pallet racking manufacture and installation, for further eco-friendliness, second hand pallet racking is also a good option. Not only is this environmentally friendly, it also saves money.

Sourcing and using sustainable materials for an office fit-out isn’t difficult, but it can be confusing for people who aren’t familiar with the options available. New technologies and materials are becoming available every day, so it’s best to speak with someone who specialises in these things.

Sustainable Design Principles For Office Fit-Outs

Beyond the actual materials being used in an office fit-out, it’s also important to design the office and its layout in a sustainable way.

One way already mentioned in this article is lighting. Taking advantage of using more natural light is an easy way to be sustainable in the office while also keeping employees happy. Where natural light can’t be used, opt for LED lighting which can be up to 75% more efficient, saving even more money.

A good HVAC system is also important in any office environment in order to keep occupants comfortable. While more efficient heating and cooling can be more expensive to purchase and install, this is an example of thing that will pay for itself over time in cost savings. It always pays to be sustainable!

When designing amenities, it’s worth looking at water saving fixtures, appliances, and toilets. Again, something like this is not only environmentally friendly, but cost saving in the long term.

A final small touch to further reinforce sustainability in an office fit-out is to ensure there is plenty of space for indoor plants. This may only be small, but it can greatly affect the morale of employees as well as the air quality in the office.

Work With A Professional For A Sustainable Office Fit-Out

There are many more ways to be sustainable when fitting-out a new office space, some are smaller, some are bigger. Very often it comes down to the selection of the right material for the circumstance or the layout of a specific area. And that’s where experts come in.

If you want your next office space to be as sustainable as possible, get in touch with us today.