The need for more sustainable office design has never been greater, particularly with spiralling fuel costs. Thames Contracts provide high-quality office design in Hitchin, Stevenage, and across Hertfordshire and North London. Here we look at how the need for better energy-efficiency can be fed into office space planning.
Windows of Opportunity
Often, senior staff are allocated the offices with the best view, with the most natural light. However, they often don’t spend much time there. Therefore, the benefits of all the sunlight – both to mental and natural health – are largely being lost.
For this reason, the biggest windows which let in the most light should be for the shop floor or ordinary workers, or where the biggest number of employees are located. Not only will they feel better, but they won’t need to turn the lights or heating on as much either, saving you money.
An open-plan office is one of the simplest ways to ensure that the maximum number of people get the maximum benefit from the natural sunlight available.
Make Light Work for You
You will almost certainly need to have light fittings because it’s not always sunny in the UK (even in summer), and in winter, it gets dark early. And you may have people working the night shift.
There are a number of ways of getting around the problem. Energy-saving bulbs (such as LEDs) consume a lot less electricity than traditional bulbs, and are also fully recyclable because they don’t contain any lead, mercury or other harmful metals. Dimmer switches and so-called ‘intelligent lighting’ can adjust themselves, or be adjusted, so you get the right amount of illumination depending on what time of day or how much natural light there is.
Saving on Water…
Although not a primary concern in the UK, water is a scarce resource globally. However, using it still costs money. There are some things you can do to save on its usage, such as having low flush toilets, waterless urinals and motion sensor taps that only come on when you want them, which also solve the problem of people leaving them running.
When it comes to heating water, bear in mind that heat pumps (air and ground source) are now considered more sustainable, and the Government is offering incentives to people to switch to using them.
…And on Heating
Make sure your office has all the latest energy-saving devices, so that you don’t need to put the heating on as often, or for as long. This means making sure cavity wall insulation has been fitted, and the windows are double or triple-glazed. You may also be able to consider solar panels, which will help you to generate your own electricity, if you have sufficient roof space (and it faces in the right direction).
Think Timeless Quality
Speaking more broadly, a sustainable office design will also help cut your company’s carbon footprint. So think about what design choices are built to last. In this vein, you should be thinking of neutral colours (such as off-white) for the walls, which won’t go out of fashion and aren’t too distracting for employees or visitors.
In terms of furniture design, think modular and flexible. If it is full of separate components which can easily be reconfigured you won’t have to worry about too many redesigns or trying to fit people into spaces which weren’t designed for them.
Glass partitioning helps too because it allows separate areas for different purposes, such as private conference and relaxation areas, which can be created and dismantled very quickly. At Thames Contracts, we specialise in glass office partitions in Borehamwood, Welwyn Garden City, Hitchin and across Hertfordshire and North London.
Office Design in Hitchin from Thames Contracts
Thames Contracts can fit all the energy-efficient devices you want into your office, whether you are having a complete fitout or refurbishing an existing space.
After an initial meeting, we will come up with a design brief followed by a fully costed design (with 3D images if required).
With both refits and refurbishments, we can project-manage the whole process from start to finish, scheduling the tradespeople to come in at set times, and making sure all the utilities are connected at the right time.
We have an enviable reputation for completing all our projects on time and on budget, without compromising our extremely high standards. If you would like to learn more about any of our services, follow this link and fill in the online contact form. Alternatively, you can call us directly on 020 8368 0045.