“Going green” means different things to different organisations. Think about it as a global term for everything that makes a positive impact on our environment. Going green is about introducing systems, processes and products into our office designs that consume fewer natural resources, save energy, reduce waste and minimise pollutants.
There are many expensive and complex systems that aim to “green” our office interiors, but often the most simple things are the most environmentally effective.
Let’s call this going “light green”. If recycling office waste, reusing existing furniture and automatic lights were adopted globally, it would have an enormous impact on the environment. As an office designer, I actively encourage our clients to consider these simple things.
There is no great design behind specifying automatic lights, space and containers for recycling or for suggesting to our clients that perhaps they should consider re-using existing furniture. I do this all the time and also suggest a few more “light green” choices as well, such as paints with low volatile organic compounds (VOC), furniture and finishes approved by Good Environmental Choice Australia (GECA), and window blinds with a visible light transmission of less than 10 per cent, to name a few.
As a designer it is really about making a client aware of the good environmental choices available, their cost, and the real benefits that flow from making these choices.
To go ‘light’ green, ask your office designer to include some or all of the following low-cost/no-cost options:
- Office design that maximizes natural light.
- Plasterboard partitions using EC08 plasterboard
- Energy efficient whitegoods
- Painting using low VOC, GECA approved paint system
- Reuse, adapt existing furniture and joinery instead of buying new
- Any new furniture used to be GECA certified
- Individual room lighting controlled by motion sensors
- Window blinds with a VLT (visual light transmission) of less than 10 per cent
- General lighting on timer and with a master switch
- Allocation of areas for plants to help improve the quality of indoor air
(written by Jane Bright – officedesignblog.com.au)