Sustainable office benefits
The benefits of creating a high performing and environmentally responsible green office design go way beyond the attainment of industry recognised measures. There are real business advantages that can be attained if a sound environmental approach to office design is adapted.
Building regulations have evolved in recent years to have more emphasis on the conservation of energy and therefore carbon, as have Government targets. It is, however, worth considering going beyond these minimum standards looking at a whole life cost basis eg. Zonal occupancy lighting controls, demand control ventilation or power factor correction.
Landfill is now a costly option and therefore should be avoided. So the management of waste needs to be done in alternative ways. The first steps for anyone is to familiarise themselves with legislation controlling waste disposal then check if the Landlord has a building strategy. If not, then defining a company strategy would be advisable. Responsible procurement and behavioural changes is the simplest and most effective method of reduction, followed by recycling and re-use. Energy generating anaerobic digestion / composting could, where practical, also be considered. Then finally review waste to energy and incineration. In general the easier the system adapted the more likelihood there will be of success.
Can be a trickier target to achieve for many office fitouts where sanitary installations are often provided by the landlord. However, some steps can be made to ensure water consumption is reduced, such as the installation of water meters, leak detection systems and isolators. Where sanitary fitting selection can be influenced, the WC’s should be fitted with a reduced flush volume, urinals with controls and taps with managed flow rates or shut offs. Ideally all products should be selected from the Governments water Technology list.
Post occupancy building management
Post occupancy building management can have a significant impact on efficiency. Effective commissioning and clear handover can pay dividends on long term usage. Many people are passionate about sustainable matters and engaging such staff members in the process of defining target measures can make the adaption of changes a positive experience, a shared sense of community and positive values. Energy conservation can not only reduce costs and generate revenue but facilitates a happier and healthier working environment.