Inspiring Offices – 5 Creative Green Workspaces

Great guest post that speaks to the benefits of Green Design in the work space.  Many of these principles and practices are scalable to the residential environment too.

S Interior Design encourages eco-friendly design elements where ever feasible for their projects residential and commercial.

 

Inspiring Offices – 5 Creative Green Workspaces

Protecting the environment has become a vital issue for many people. As the need for environmentally conscious ways of living increases, businesses are now doing their part to introduce green initiatives into their workspaces.
Listed here are 5 examples of the most interesting and creative green work environments that have been developed by companies in recent years. Each example goes out to prove the various tactics that industry leaders are tackling in order to accomplish, essentially, their most important job: preserving the environment!

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Seattle’s Bullitt Center
Considered the greenest business building in the world, the Bullitt Center in Seattle has over 50,000 square feet of space and uses a small percentage of the energy normally required for commercial buildings.  It has been designed to create its own energy source by using solar panel technology. But because Seattle has relatively little sunshine throughout the year, the Bullitt Center also utilizes the grid when needed.  The building contains showers on each of its floors and has no automobile parking on its premises. It does provide covered parking for bicycles, encouraging occupants to use bikes in place of cars.

Skanska, Väla Gård 120925Foto: Klas Andersson
Skanska’s Green Building
Skanska’s office building is located on a former farm in Sweeden. It’s the nation’s first Deep Green building and has a net-zero energy consumption level. No hazardous materials were used for its construction, and none of the waste produced during the process ended up in landfills.

Similar to the Bullitt Center, Skanska’s green workspace uses a solar power system for its energy. The building uses heat recovery units that help reuse a large percentage of heat that would otherwise be lost in outgoing air. The building cost $5 million and used locally sourced materials in its construction.

The Jones Lang LaSalle building prioritized non-hazardous materials in its construction and recycled approximately 75 percent of the waste produced. The building uses sensors to monitor daylight and occupancy as a means of controlling its energy requirements. This creative green workspace was able to reduce its water use by 40 percent along with an overall energy reduction of 13 percent. But perhaps more significant was the result it had on the building’s occupants.  When looking at the number of sick days of its employees, the company discovered that absenteeism was lowered by over 30 percent. The green technology led to fewer sick days among workers, pushing the notion that going green isn’t just beneficial for the environment, but for the people as well!
Lohre and Associates
Cincinnati saw the green workplace revolution appear in the workspace of Lohre and Associates. It saved considerable costs both in its construction and in its operation. Scraps from carpet and wood were recycled and composted in the building process, while old window blinds were reused. The building features creative green bathroom technology that uses hand-washing adapters that funnel sink water into toilets, which in turn, reduces massive amounts of water usage.

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Energy Systems Design

Energy Systems Design utilized environmentally-friendly energy controls, plumbing and lighting systems within their green workspace. Although limited in their ability to renovate the existing structure, they found creative ways to design a greener workspace.   Throughout the building, recycled materials such as used glass and wood were utilized in a remarkable act of turning junk into something new. Also, rubber cork tiles were used for the building’s flooring, which helped to further the project’s resourcefulness and aesthetic appeal. The result of is a set of high-efficiency units that save energy and reduce costs.
The possibilities are endless…

Plenty of other companies now, too, are joining the green workspace revolution, by initializing smarter design tactics that consist of recycled and eco-friendly materials. To some it may mean resorting to more heavily involved projects such as harvesting solar power and implementing smart water systems to cut down wasteful consumption, but to others, it may be something as simple as installing glass balustrades, such as those offered by Aqua Vista Glass. A solution like this allows for the use of more natural light to indoor spaces and less dependency on timber resources. This saves energy and costs for business owners, while creating a more naturally lit open space that promotes a smarter, eco-friendly standard.

As more people become conscious of the need to reduce waste and energy consumption, eco-friendly workspaces will become the norm. Employees will reap the benefits of a greener work environment, and will have the satisfaction of knowing that they are part of the solution, and not the problem.

Image credit: wikipedia.org and http://www. group.skanska.com/
Mary Ann Keeling is a freelance writer and business consultant who travels frequently. She is interested in all forms of green design, particularly those modern, clever ideas that can help in protecting the environment.

 

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5 Home Office-Small Office Design Ideas

More and more of us are spending time at WORK in our home offices (or away from home).  The lines are blurred between work and play and our office spaces need to support functionality AND comfort and even a bit of fun.  The guest post below highlights 5 uniquely designed office spaces.  One is sure to hit your personal ‘sweet spot’ of what you would want your office space to look and feel like.  Of particular interest to S Interior Design is The Pod, and the Rooftop Office.

Modern and Contemporary

Office Design

If you prefer the minimal look and would like a crisp white office with a difference then add a splash of green and enjoy the twist!

All draws come with reversible fronts in a choice of colours and effects including striking lime green and traditional beech. Plus you can design your cube bookcases using the same interchangeable door fronts.

View the full range of office furniture and accessories at Viking from £49.99.

Comfy Cozy

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If you like your home comforts and prefer to feel at home in your office then this traditional office décor may suit your style. Everything about this space says “comfort” from the dim lighting to quality wooden furniture.

The office looks busy yet homely and is perfect for those homeowners put-off by minimal and new-age designs. Avoid the clinical look and opt for a more cosy office look for the winter months.

Designed by Willman Interiors.

Warm and light

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This room is bright, light and great for both desktop working and chilling in your break.

The plentiful storage space guarantees to keep your desk free from clutter and makes you want to work from home! Add quirky pieces and wall fixtures like inspiring pictures or quotes for encouragement too.

Keep bang on trend with designer pieces such as Verner Panton’s S Chair and add a touch of modern glamour to your warm interior design.

Designed by O’Hara Interiors.

The Pod

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When your home is overcrowded with your partner, room-mates, kids and pets it’s sometimes nice to get away from it all to concentrate on work.

Thankfully, the Office Pod is here to help and advertises itself as a great way to “separate your office from the home; an easy to construct shelter that provides both style and functionality”. Although quite a tight fit, you will comfortably squeeze everything you need to work from home in one compact booth.

Read the full story.

Rooftop space

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Although the English weather doesn’t usually permit it, the Royal Horticultural Society made a rooftop workplace perfect for the summer months.

Sponsored by RBS, the modern design from Patricia Fox was inspired by the abundance of underused roof space in London’s most popular business districts.

The ‘office garden’ has various sections depending on staff needs; hanging chairs for making calls and browsing the net, a “pick your own herbal tea bar” for thirsty office workers and a canopy complete with projection screen for conference calls and presentations.

Read more about Patricia’s designs here.