How to get a sustainable office
This checklist breaks down the complex issues into simple, easy-to-follow steps. Find out how to go green.
Step 1 of 3 Before work begins on sustainable office design
Be clear about your vision
- Get your Board or key stakeholders to buy into the benefits
- Decide what level of sustainability you want to achieve
- Decide what BREEAM1 rating you want to achieve
- Very Good
- Decide what LEED1 rating you want to achieve
- Define your project objectives
- Increase energy efficiency to reduce ongoing costs
- Reduce carbon emissions
- Comply with CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme2 reporting requirements
- Comply with (or exceed) building regulations (Part L, Part F)
- Comply with (or exceed) CIBSE and BSRIA Guidelines
- Make better use of your space
- Boost productivity
- Create a healthier workplace (reduce VOCs3, improve air quality)
- Create or enhance your Corporate Social Responsibility programme
- Communicate a sustainable ethos to staff, stakeholders and clients
Assess and compare your potential buildings for energy efficiency
- Measure the CO2 and CO emissions of the assessed building / office space
- What is the difference in CO2 emissions (by percentage) between your site, and a notional building that complies with 2002 building regulations?
- Request a copy of the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) and the associated building report
- Choose a building that is already BREEAM (or LEED) rated
- Measure the building's solar gain to assess the impact it will have on energy use
- Check the compass direction of the space. Is it north or south? Assess how you can use daylight to reduce your lighting demand
- What is the energy rating of the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems? Will they need to be replaced?
- Does the space have a building management system, to enable the monitoring and control of energy use?
- Is there sufficient sub-metering in place to measure and report energy use?
- Are there enough public transport links to satisfy BREEAM standards?
- Is there space for installation of bicycle racks and showers, to meet BREEAM standards?
- BREEAM® (BRE's Environmental Assessment Method) and LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design's 'green building' rating system) are the two most recognised and authoritative systems for rating how 'green' or 'eco-friendly' a building is.
- CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme is a new regulatory regime that is intended to encourage large, non-energy intensive businesses (for example: retail chains, banks, local authorities and many institutional landlords) to improve their energy efficiency and reduce their carbon emissions.
- VOCs are volatile organic compounds, emitted by many paints, glues, wirings, carpets and other materials. They can be harmful over time.