Benefits of Green Design in Flexible Work Spaces – Guest Post
This guest post about green design comes from Zach Williams. If you want to submit your own guest blog, first read the guidelines here.
The commercial office design industry has recently shifted closer and closer toward being more sustainable, more eco-friendly, and more willing to go the extra mile to promote the health of the people who work there. It’s a trend that is running alongside the transition to an open concept office, where space is defined by the people who are using it, and not the setup of off-the-shelf cubicles.
The parallel nature of these trends is no coincidence. As green design and the beginnings of flexible work spaces are cut from the same cloth, they represent the evolving sense of design productivity coming from a new generation of business leaders.
This article aims to outline the benefits of green design in flexible work spaces, and hopefully lay out a few solutions that can help carry your office culture into the next generation.
Why Go Green?
For architects, general contractors, and most clients, going green marks a shift in design to something that is responsive to a building’s carbon footprint and moves towards a more eco-friendly environment. A commitment to sustainable building means constructing spaces that invest in a healthy, interior that is also beneficial to the people that work there.
Healthy Means Happy. Happy Means Productive
As it turns out, the happier and more content your employees are, the harder, more focused they happen to work. It might seem counterintuitive, but by cultivating a work environment that reduces stress, promotes health, and introduces collaboration between like-minded employees goes a long way. It builds a work culture that might seem unorthodox, but actually brings out the best, most productive version of the individuals that work there.
Happy means healthy. It’s a paradigm that applies to all aspects of life, and one that carries through employment in the same way it might carry through one’s relationship with their husband or wife. People who work in an environment that promotes clean air, quality of light and view, and an space that lets them occupy it in a way that best fits how they get things done are more likely to deliver on the hours the put in.
Green Design Results in A Healthy Work Environment
Here are a few things your commercial office can do to embrace a healthy, eco-friendly approach to interior space. This type of green design promotes health, and workforce productivity.
1. Air Filtration and Exchange
Most commercial forced air cooling systems have built-in air exchanges that make sure the interior air quality is constantly being monitored. In fact, every newly built interior space must adhere to codes that regulate the movement of air throughout, making sure moisture, and other harmful particles are exhausted along with unwanted hot or cold air. This is the best – and probably least invasive – way to promote office health.
2. Engineered Wood Flooring
The materials and products you use to build out your commercial office space have a massive impact on employee satisfaction. Engineered wood flooring is an inexpensive solution to one of the most heavily covered surface in your offic,. Engineered wood flooring can set the aesthetic tone for your entire interior design. Be sure to use products that make use of sustainable woods such as bamboo. Sustainable woods are better for the environment and will typically last longer than typical hardwood.
3. LED Lighting
Firstly, LED bulbs require about 80 percent less energy than incandescents. Also, LED bulbs produce a quality of pure, white light that simulates natural sunlight sun. When it comes to productivity, studies show that natural light can make people feel better in their interior workspaces. LED lighting is especially effective in offices that are open, flexible, and willing to embrace eco-friendly office design.
4. Acoustic Separation
Open offices are often a fit for businesses seeking to promote collaboration. Open offices also help avoid segregating company organization, by having many individual offices and conference rooms. However, these concepts often suffer from the flexibility of segmentation. So open offices may lack the option to section off space for meetings or personal privacy. Implementing a flexible acoustic panelized system of partitions solves this problem. This system provides a sound and visual barrier from the rest of the office. So, you can help to create semi-defined divisions of space, which are variable depending use-cases.
No matter what solutions you implement in your commercial office design, you should align those with health and eco-friendly concepts. If you do so, those solutions will go a long way to attracting new employees and growing your brand. Especially for companies instituting an open office, it’s a no brainer to go green! It makes sense for every in-house improvement project you initiate to help your business.
Zach Williams, Kirei USA
Zach Williams is the Content Coordinator at Kirei USA. Kirei has been in business in North America since 2003. They provide innovative, functional, earth-friendly and visually interesting design materials to interior designers, architects, and end users.