Having a ‘green’ office is not just an optional extra, it is essential. Larger businesses must carry out audits of their premises every four years, which includes the levels of energy consumption, and the law surrounding this area may get even more rigorous in the future.
Thames Contracts specialises in quality office design in north London and other areas in and around the capital, and we take a keen interest in all aspects of the sector. Here we look at some of the latest trends in sustainable design.
Green Means Just That
Increasingly companies are using larger windows in their offices, to let in plenty of natural light. Spending hour after hour each day at the same desk under synthetic lighting is not good for health, but by contrast natural light can improve both physical and mental wellbeing.
More firms are making plants a feature of their workplaces as this has been shown to improve both the air quality and staff morale. This often takes the form of a ‘living wall’ where the entire surface can be covered with greenery. Studies have shown that plants in the office can increase staff output by as much as 15%. If plants are not feasible, then colour experts Pantone say green is an increasingly popular shade of paint for office walls.
Some businesses are also looking after their employees by providing stand-up desks. Sitting down too much at work has been linked to obesity, while surveys have suggested that having stand-up meeting space can sometimes be more efficient than a more conventional, seated room; it can cut the amount of wasted time by more than a third.
Increased awareness of staff health also means businesses are installing self-service machines which offer fruit and other healthier foods, rather than just unhealthy drinks and snacks.
Versatility is Essential
Rent and rates, can be high in London, so in many cases to keep an office sustainable it is important to use all the space available to the full. ,Having space which can be adapted to fit a variety of different uses can contribute to this. This goes beyond hot-desking, with many offices adopting flexible space which can be configured for both co-working and individual working, as well as for meetings.
Thames Contracts specialise in installing glass partitions for offices in London and surrounding areas as part of our design and refurbishment projects. These offer maximum flexibility; clear glass partitioning can easily used to create small rooms or pods for teams working on a particular project, while opaque glass will provide the privacy needed for more sensitive occasions like staff appraisals or meeting with clients. Switchable glass partitions mean you can use the same space for different functions.
Fixtures and Fittings
Low-energy lightbulbs and toilet fittings with water-saving flush mechanisms taps designed to limit the flow are becoming increasingly popular as a way of helping the environment while also saving money.
This can make you more attractive to ethically-minded customers as well as staff, helping to promote the company’s brand as more caring and environmentally-friendly.
With so many different aspects to think about, it is important to use an experienced office design company for any refurbishment or fitout. Thames Contracts have completed a large number of office design projects in north London, and also further afield in St Albans, Stevenage and Hatfield.
At the start of any project, as part of the planning process, we look at all areas of the building’s carbon footprint. For instance, we will consider where energy is being lost and build in sustainable solutions and improvements. These will conform with all the current regulatory requirements and we will also make the space adaptable to meet your future needs.
For more information about our services and how we can work with you, please call us on 020 8368 0045