Designing your sustainable workplace in 2022
2022 is set to be the year in which businesses of all sizes have the drive and encouragement to plan and deliver for a more sustainable work environment, which can range from the physical attributes of a space through to the actions of the workforce.
Whether you are setting out on redesigning your existing space or have a blank canvas from which to work from there are some pertinent steps which should not be rushed or even overlooked.
WHERE DO YOU START?
- A business needs to establish its goals and aspirations with regards to sustainability and wellbeing. How important is the subject to individuals within the business, is there a general drive to achieve the goals and it is not just a box ticking exercise? Only when this has been established can a real estate strategy be developed to be aligned to support.
- What is the extent of financial commitment to the project, working with truly sustainable products have a much higher price tag than conventional options? The appetite for such an investment is a priority for brief.
- Recycle, upcycle or new – rather than starting from scratch what does a business have that can be used again, this is often overlooked by businesses but reducing waste will force this to be factored in.
- What you do not include in a design is often the more sustainable option – even if a previous iteration had it.
- All products specified throughout the entirety of the design not only to meet the aesthetic benchmark, but also with sustainability in mind.
- A greater consideration given to suppliers/manufacturers procurement when deciding on materials and services. What accreditations do they have as a sustainable supplier/manufacturer, how do they manage reduction of waste and sustainable practices in their manufacturing process.
- Look beyond the visual i.e., the materials Include elements that help achieve sustainability whilst in operation for example, flow rate regulator valves, sustainable refrigerant, rainwater harvesting, solar energy, recycling facilities to
name a few.
- Consider the life cycle of products, especially when gauged against the timeframe of a tenancy most of which will outlast. Some suppliers have launched ‘take back’ schemes, covered by agreements which are often conditional and unrealistic – leading to more waste.
DELIVERING YOUR WORKPLACE
- Use local suppliers and contractors to cut down on travel emissions, even better using those who use ‘green’ transport.
- Use efficient installation procedure i.e., patchwork plaster boarding using off cuts to reduce waste, the same for flooring installation
- Use traditional carpentry skills removing the adhesives from joinery projects.
- Ensure wate I kept to minimum and waste disposal is through sustainable methods
BEHAVIOUR & USE CHANGE
- A sustainability strategy should cover all aspects the workplace and workforce. A certain level of sustainability can be achieved through design and build of the physical space, it is the subsequent operation and workforce interaction that will make the difference. Make sure that you are ‘green audit’ ready.
- Ensure supply of energy is green, take on office suppliers that also share your sustainable journey goals, buy with sustainability always in mind.
- Make carbon offsetting a standard within the organisation
- Ensure workers have their own goals (e.g. print less) and everyone to take responsibility, make sure that work
achieved through design is not lost when in use!
- Creating a sustainable workplace is no mean feat, with careful planning, due diligence and support the journey towards net-zero can be less arduous. In a year when businesses should start planning their strategy the Dthree team are on hand to support.
To find out more get in touch today!