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In demand: Designing green and open workspaces

February 27, 2023

The workforce around the world had witnessed two major global crises in recent years — the Covid-19 pandemic and the climate emergency. Rapid modernization along with the need for globalization has compelled us to reconsider ways of operating businesses across the world. And the need of the hour is to ensure that business leaders are well aware of the repercussions of these potential threats.
Having said that, allowing air in the building tags along with an energy cost, proving to be at odds with sustainability. Keeping climate goals in mind, buildings in major cities take up 70% of global energy, thereby contributing to global warming. Here’s a list of ways you can upgrade your workspaces & turn them ‘green’.

Form a ‘sustainability team’ in your office
When an organization forms a team that leads sustainability, it becomes an opportunity for the employees to learn and educate about the importance of going green. They are able to better understand ways of practising sustainability by achieving and creating awareness on recycling paper waste, purchasing eco-friendly reusable stationeries, and switching to energy-efficient gadgets, to name a few. Timely inspections can help in gauging the impact of greener practices on the premises and a monthly connect with the energy waste authorities can be effective in the long run.

Pick the right way to attune your workspace
Designing an office from the ground up requires metrics like layout planning, equipment, and IT advancements. Once in force, it is important to ensure that the office premises are performing optimally – just as they did on the very first day. Hence, it is essential to attune a commercial space to meeting performance standards and not merely design standards. One way to go green is by tuning up the office to improve the indoor environment i.e checking up on system performance, getting rid of the worn-out infrastructure, and ensuring general maintenance regularly. The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory estimates that it will cost $0.26 to $0.82 per square foot with over 10% of energy savings in less than 2 years.

Leave more room for fresh air in the office
The quality of air you breathe in closed workspaces is one of the biggest concerns for the planet. Just by making way for more fresh air, offices can witness a drop in overall absenteeism and improved cognitive functions, resulting in higher productivity. By adding heat-recovery-ventilation, the harmful heat waves are recaptured before being released into the atmosphere. This is a great way to contribute to environmental sustainability. Despite the air filters in the offices, upgrading to better alternatives like MERV-13 is the need of the hour. Unlike the HVAC fans, these alternatives will lead to an overall drop in energy wastage making your workplace more sustainable.

Embrace renewable options for operations
Redirecting to green renewable power sources like solar and wind energy, are readily available in contemporary times. Solar rooftop installations and land-based wind turbines can go a long way in energy conservation. Opting for green energy plans that run on renewable sources like wind, totally eliminating the use of fossil fuels like coal, oil, and natural gas. When it comes to making your office green, changing purchasing decisions can make a huge difference to the planet and its people. With the changing times, office buildings across all industries are expected to be sustainable, safe, and smart.

Promote ‘green’ commuting to your employees
In August 2022, The New Town, Kolkata, became a part of the 25 ‘Cycling cities’ to join the ‘Cycle to Work’ initiative. The New Town is now a part of the global networks of Cycle2Work and Cycle4Change. Focusing on factors such as increased safety and enhanced liveability, the deputy manager of ITDP highlighted that cycles cut down carbon emissions, save costs, and lead to the overall well-being of individuals. Hence, it is important that each and every city in the country comes forward to be a part of such transit-oriented developments.
The parameters of quantifying the worth of businesses are beyond profit and loss. It is now ushered by ‘Triple Bottom Line’, a framework of sustainability that assesses the success of a business via 3 pillars — people, profit and the planet. Workspaces like Brigade Opus in Bengaluru aim to combat such issues by promoting more ‘green’ through sustainability. The key strategy for control comprises high ventilation systems in an eco-friendly design without compromising on aspects of modern commercial workspaces. And rightfully so, this is the workspace of the future.



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