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Sustainability Spotlight

Built Interiors’ 3 Top Tips for Sustainable Office Fit-Outs

The spotlight being shone on sustainability and environmental responsibility has never been brighter. As well as the obvious environmental and cost impacts, sustainability practices are now impacting recruitment and retention. Research carried out by Gallup (Workplace Consulting & Global Research) revealed that 71% of people now consider a company’s environmental approach when it comes to selecting their employers.

At Built Interiors we’re committed to supporting our clients with their sustainable design approach through thoughtful and considered options such as sourcing ethically sound materials and constantly reviewing our procurement and construction processes. Here we share three top tips for approaching a sustainable office fit-out.

It starts with responsible design.

Sustainable offices begin with responsible design. Work spaces need to be attractive and functional, elevating comfort and experience while prioritising people's wellbeing. This must all be done without compromising the wellbeing of the planet.

To go as green as possible, sustainability needs to be considered from the beginning of your office fit-out plans, and incorporated strategically. Communication is key. Shout from the rooftops how important your sustainability goals are to you as an organisation. Build this expectation from the start and you’ll get better results while cutting costs and carbon emissions.

Energy efficiency performance should be a focus at this stage and while quick wins are great, it’s important to think about the long term. If your budget is tight now then look to incorporate the potential for later improvements into your design. That way when the time is right and the money’s available, you can install the more expensive sustainability measures with minimal disruption and quick rewards.

Remember: “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.”

One of the key tips is to make sure that you are open to new ideas, new ways of working, new materials, and new furniture options. There are a lot of products now that have a very sustainable life-cycle e.g., recycled materials, carbon neutral carpet tiling, eco lighting etc. By talking to your contractors and suppliers and making sure you incorporate these into your process you can dramatically boost the sustainability of your project.

The task of creating an eco-friendly office can seem like a daunting one – but it doesn’t have to be. Many other large firms will now be striving towards this goal, especially in new office fit outs. By working in cooperation with your design and construction teams you can take their lessons learned on previous projects and incorporate the materials that have been proven to provide the best return on investment.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: Re-evaluate!

Office use changes over time and to be truly sustainable you will need to be able to pivot when needed.

Does your BMS (Building Management System) effectively control the building so that heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) are running at peak performance? Moving your thermostat down just two degrees in winter and up two degrees in summer could save about 2000 pounds of carbon dioxide a year so the devil really is in the details.

Have you built in KPIs to measure and evaluate your energy usage and other key environmental factors? An energy usage audit of your office arrangement can also be highly beneficial, it provides you with an accurate way of bench-marking future performance and highlighting weaknesses in building, technology and working practices, showing where there is room for improvement.

Thanks for the tips, how do I get in touch?

When you’re doing a fit out you need a specialist - a construction contractor who understands the nuance of fit out - the fast-track programmes, the logistical challenges, the occupied buildings. The client is at the heart of each of our office fit-out projects. It’s important that we understand what each client wants from their workplace, and their values. If sustainability is an important value to your business, get in touch to discuss your eco fit out today.

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