The term ‘environmentally-friendly’ is something all of us should care about. After all, anything that is labelled environmentally-friendly helps in maintaining the wellbeing of our planet and natural environment, which is a big deal!
Creating a sustainable workplace is not just about the environment, however. It’s also about creating a healthy and productive place to work. So if reducing your ecological footprint is important to you, it is possible to keep the environment in mind in your interior design. Let us show you how it can be done.
What Does Sustainability Mean in Interior Design?
Although sustainability is not something that often comes to mind when starting a renovation project, it is something we should all consider and have a better understanding of.
Recycled Interiors explains that being eco-friendly is all about not being harmful to the environment, taking part in green living practices such as conserving resources including water and energy and choosing eco-friendly products to reduce your contribution to air, water and land pollution.
According to Science Direct, integrating environmentally sustainable materials into building projects can significantly reduce environmental impact in a number of ways including:
• Less energy consumption
• Less depletion and pollution of natural resources
• Less toxicity for occupants and the entire ecosystem
There are so many ways this can be achieved in interior design, and in this article, we have touched on a few key elements that can impact on these three areas.
The materials used in any design project often leaves the biggest footprint. According to Science Direct, most interior materials require significant natural resources at every stage of their lifecycle from extraction and transport to processing, reusing and disposal.
When you choose to integrate environmentally sustainable materials into a renovation project, the impact your business has on the environment is significantly reduced. Environmentally sustainable low-impact materials are available in a number of material varieties including:
• Window treatments
Ultimately your goal here is to reduce waste. When choosing the right materials, keep in mind they should be non-toxic and sustainably produced or recycled. The less energy needed to produce that material the better.
By incorporating large windows that let natural sunlight into your office into your design, you can reduce the amount of artificial light you need in your office – reducing energy consumption and saving on electricity bills!
Switching out traditional light bulbs with low-energy bulbs or incorporating dimmers and motion detectors can also make a difference to your energy consumption. Simple changes to your lighting can help reduce your energy use by up to 50%.
According to Sanctuary Magazine, up to 25% of your heating costs are attributed to draughts and this can easily be rectified by sealing any leaks and ensuring shading is implemented adequately around the building’s exterior to moderate the climate.
You can also save energy by choosing efficient appliances that will last longer and chew up as little energy as possible.
A well-insulated building means less energy needs to be used to keep the premises comfortable, so insulating your walls and roof is essential for maximum energy efficiency.
Further insulation can also be achieved with insulated curtains, or even better; you could incorporate a green range of natural draperies and blinds made from natural and recycled fibres.
You can also achieve improved insulation and energy reduction by painting the exterior of your building with a light colour to reflect heat.
If reducing sound is important for your business, rubber flooring made from rubber trees is 100% renewable and also provides good sound insulation.
Recycled, Reused and Upcycled
A great idea is to incorporate materials that include reclaimed or recycled materials. This can include recycled furniture or even salvaged timber, reclaimed carpet tiles or cushions crafted from vintage fabrics.
You can even choose fabrics that have been manufactured by recycled or reclaimed cotton to reduce your ecological footprint.
Upcycling is also a creative solution where something old is re-worked into something completely new and different. For example, a lamp base could be crafted from rescued pine floor joists.
This way you can breathe new life into an old material while also creating a one-of-a-kind piece of furniture or design element.
By investing in recycled, reused and upcycled materials, you ultimately reduce waste.
Eco-Friendly Office Inspiration
Ready to incorporate environmentally sustainable elements into your office space?
Check out inhabitat for some beautiful eco-friendly office inspiration and see first-hand how others have put these environmentally sustainable ideas into action.
Once you have the inspiration you need and are ready to put environmental sustainability as a priority in your next renovation project, contact us at Future Fitouts.
We can transform your office hub into an eco-friendly working environment that’s great for your employees and the planet.