As a purpose-led company, sustainability sits at the core of our design principles – it is something we consider in every aspect of our client projects.
And as you’d expect, many clients now ask us how we can help reduce their carbon footprint.
As Cop27 draws to an end, we share our key sustainable design considerations to help you measure the environmental impact of your workspace design.
1. Biophilic design
Biophilia has long been recognised as a key ingredient in workplace design for improving indoor air quality. As far back as the 1980s NASA began to study the effects of house plants on indoor air quality as a way to improve the quality of their closed space stations, quickly concluding that the introduction of plants could play a major role in the reduction of chemicals.
Since then studies have identified quicker recovery and reduced anxiety for hospital patients with plant placements in their rooms. And care home residents with dementia have seen significant psychological and social wellbeing improvements when indoor plants are introduced into their environments.
It’s no wonder that biophilic workplace design has an integral part to play in our sustainable design strategy, with our clients’ benefitting from improved colleague wellbeing, better cognitive function and focus, along with easier attraction of key talent, as a result.
2. Natural or recycled flooring
We partner with flooring suppliers that commit to the use of natural or recycled resources with minimal impact on the planet. We spend time evaluating the impact of our supply chain, all packaging and the shipping process. Two great examples of sustainable flooring solutions include:
Amtico – 100% of pre-production waste is reused in other flooring products or recycled into other useful products. 100% of electricity is purchased through renewable energy.
Modulyss – Made with 100% regenerated ECONYL® yarn, they have a CO2 reduction initiative and are Cradle to Cradle Certified®.
3. Reusable materials
A truly sustainable office fitout will not only source reusable materials, plastics and fabrics, but also integrate them into cutting-edge design that supports energy saving and a substantial reduction in waste. We recommend:
Valchromat – an eco-friendly coloured engineered wood which is 30% stronger than MDF, valchromat is made from post-industrial pine woodchips & organic dyes, can be recycled, and where possible is produced using post-industrial waste from sawmills, wood pallets etc.
Recycled Surfaces – Using decorative surfaces such as worktops that are 100% recycled, and able to be reused repeatedly.
4. Champion LED light
Of course, the most sustainable lighting solution is natural sunlight which is also important for colleague wellbeing. When that isn’t possible ensure all specified lighting is LED and you’ll benefit from saving up to 75% on energy consumption.
With 95% of energy going into lighting and only 5% wasted in heat, LED lighting also boasts a much longer life of up to 50,000 hours.
Circadian lighting is a relatively new concept that suggests there are benefits to using lighting that follows the natural sleep cycles of the human body. We offer intensity tuning to our lighting installations, meaning our light fixtures maintain a fixed correlated colour temperature to correlate with the time of day. This translates into lower intensity lighting in the morning and evening which complements the human circadian rhythm. Benefits include helping to maintain alertness and improved colleague productivity, whilst minimising energy levels.
5. Environmentally sustainable furniture
Our furniture partners are carefully selected to work towards a mutual goal of delivering
positive environmental impact. A few of our favourites include:
Herman Miller: who use ocean-bound plastics in the manufacturing of their products. This has enabled them to divert 234 metric tons of plastic from our oceans.
Senator Group: Senator opened a new division of its business ‘Sustain’ to collect furniture from clients, competitors, and manufacturers so nothing needs to go to landfill. All furniture is made into other items, recycled, or disposed of responsibly.
Ocee: their products are a minimum of 95% recyclable and 0% of the manufacturing process is sent to landfill.
6. Fabrics with planet certification
Our design team takes the time to specifically select sustainable fabrics for each project.
We look for evidence of planet certification on all fabrics – sourcing products that have a low environmental impact such as Ecolabel and Cradle-to-cradle.
It’s important that our supplied fabrics are minimal resource intensive. We favour materials that use less water, energy, or chemicals within the supply chain.
By designing with a greener mindset, Kerr Office Group truly believes we are improving the working lives of our clients colleagues and the colleagues across our supply chain- that is our ethos. To find out more about Kerr and the sustainable workspaces we create, contact us today on firstname.lastname@example.org and start your workplace transformation