• Build sustainability into the design

    • Design flexible floor plans, that can be rearranged and reconfigured easily in the future, and reduce churn costs
    • Include convenient recycling points in the design
    • Incorporate locally manufactured materials, to cut down on the energy and carbon emissions it takes to transport them
    • Salvage and reuse as many materials that are already on-site as you can
    • Make the most of the available natural daylight
    • Make sure every desk is no more than 7m from a window
    • Aim for 80% of the net lettable office floor area to receive natural light
    • Include a user-friendly glare control system
    • Use increased insulation
    • Choose highly efficient or 'super' windows
    • Use shading to reduce glare and heat from the sun
    • Choose a design that uses minimal finishes, paints, wall coverings and plastering
    • Minimise storage to encourage more electronic archiving
    • Incorporate signs that encourage your staff to turn off equipment and lights
  • Choose sustainable office fixtures, fittings and furniture

    • Are they manufactured from recycled materials?
    • Are they recyclable at the end of their life?
    • Opt for low VOC emitting carpets, furniture, cabling, paints and adhesives
    • Are they made by environmentally responsible manufacturers?
    • Are they produced locally?
    • Does your timber come from sustainable forests? Is it FSC1 certified?
    • Use rapidly renewable materials wherever you can (like bamboo)
    • Think about what you can reuse

Consider energy efficiency and carbon reduction

  • Consider energy efficiency and carbon reduction

    • Select high-quality, energy-efficient lighting (see next section)
    • Put reasonable limits on your temperature controls for day-to-day use
    • Use zoned energy controls, to control low-usage areas separately
    • Install an automatic shut-off system for equipment on standby
    • Choose a Building Management System (BMS) to automatically turn off power at night and on weekends
    • Install smart, energy-efficient heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems
    • Choose items that qualify for Enhanced Capital Allowances2
    • Make sure 10% of the total energy demand comes from local renewable/low emission energy sources
    • Install wireless sub-metering to monitor, track and reduce energy use across floors/zones
    • Install 'workplace footprint tracker' software to control and display energy use on dashboards to encourage building occupants to reduce their individual energy use
    • Install devices to manually shut down workstations when not in use
    • Install timers on appliances to automatically shut down equipment out-of-hours (televisions, audio-visual, etc.)
    • Do you qualify for interest-free loans from the Carbon Trust?
  • Be smart with your lighting

    • Make sure you meet appropriate maintained luminance levels (in lux), as per building regulations
    • Use zoned lighting, with separate controls
    • Choose light fittings with built-in daylight sensors, to make the most of your natural light
    • Install infrared motion detectors for automatic lighting control
    • Install timers to shut off lighting on weekends and at night
    • Fit high-efficiency fluorescent lights
  • Consider LED lighting

    • A standard 40W incandescent bulb has an expected lifespan of 1,000 hours while an LED can continue to operate with reduced efficiency for more than 50,000 hours - 50 times longer than the incandescent bulb
  • Use task lighting

    • Task lighting provides better light for detail work and offers more control to individuals, reducing the need for energy-hungry overhead lighting.
  • Waste less water

    • Choose low water flow fittings
    • Low flush toilets
    • Waterless urinals
    • Use rainwater or greywater systems
    • Fit a reliable leak detection system
    • Include proximity detection shut-off to the water supply for all WCs
    • Install point-of-source, filtered water to reduce the cost, waste and transport of bottled water
  • Improve air quality

    • Use more natural ventilation
    • Monitor and assess your CO2 emissions
    • Use 'low emitting' materials, without volatile chemicals
    • Carpet
    • Paints and adhesives
    • Composite wood
  1. The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) promotes environmentally appropriate, socially beneficial, and economically viable management of the world's forests.

  2. Enhanced Capital Allowances are a Government incentive, to encourage you to choose energy-efficient heating, ventilation and air-conditioning equipment. You can claim back money for certain kinds of equipment.