The construction industry, owing to its inherent nature, is a major consumer of natural resources and high contributor to air pollution. However, amid mounting climate change concerns and quickly depleting resources, there is now increasing pressure on construction businesses to reduce their environmental footprint as much as possible. As a result, sustainability in construction is now becoming less of an option and more or a project ‘must have’ and there are many untapped opportunities for improvement to be had in construction, compared to other sectors.
Being fully committed to the delivery of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the UK government recently updated their plans to achieve Net Zero emissions by 2050, setting the world’s most ambitious climate change goal yet. Partner this with other SDG’s such as affordable and clean energy, quality education and good health and wellbeing and it becomes clear that there are multiple facets to sustainability producing areas of growth and development.
This is why businesses ought to do everything possible to put sustainability at the heart of their build designs, not just for the betterment of the environment and their clients, but also for the community at large.
5 reasons to put sustainability at the heart of your office design include;
1. Value for Money: Green buildings tend to have lower operating costs – significantly lower, in some cases. Research suggests that using the latest tech in your build, such as PV solar panels, intelligent HVAC systems and motion detected LED lighting, may deliver a whopping £410 billion in annual savings on energy spending worldwide.
2. Social Responsibility Opportunities and Community Benefit: A new building project is often overlooked as an opportunity to engage with the local community. If you’re truly building with sustainability at the forefront however, you will find an excellent opportunity to utilise a plethora of local suppliers and contractors. You may also be able to recycle or refurbish pre-existing elements such as office furniture and kitchen appliances, to donate to nearby good causes.
3. Employee Welfare: A sustainable design isn’t just about reducing your energy costs and carbon footprint. It is crucial that you consider the people that will be using the space and subsequently ask yourself why you are embarking on this build. You have an opportunity with any new build or office refurbishment to make a difference to staff welfare by impacting their surroundings. Big changes such as new shower facilities, an employee gym and a new break room can make a huge difference to moral, but even the smaller additions such as bicycle storage, instant hot water coffee stations and personalised motivational wall art, will have a positive effect on your employee satisfaction.
4. Reduce Your Carbon Footprint: Businesses globally are under pressure to reduce their carbon emissions, not just from local governments, but also by consumers. Nowadays people are increasingly aware of the damage that is being done to our planet and as such, customers are demanding that the businesses they support are taking action to reduce their impact and tackle climate change. By taking a sustainable stance with your build and adding carbon neutral supplies and/or reducing your buildings non-sustainable energy usage, you will inevitably be reducing your emissions output. As such, you can then report upon and promote these figures as a component of your next marketing strategy to show that you do care and that you are an environmentally aware organisation.
5. Longevity: You have the opportunity when you are expanding or refurbishing, to create a space that is purpose built for the future of your organisation. It is important to consider not just your needs for the here and now, but also for the next 10-15 years. Considering future growth and development, will hopefully prevent the need for another build in the near future.
If you have considered the benefits and decide to embark upon a sustainability focussed build, we highly recommend you involve a sustainable construction partner as early in the design management process as possible. Bringing a partner in early, allows you the flexibility to discuss and explore innovative options that you may not have previously considered and achieve an estimated costing for the work from experienced hands.
Trustland Construction has recently been listed as a finalist for the National Federation of Builders (NFB) Construction Awards of Excellence in the Environmental and Sustainability Initiative of the Year category. We strive to bring sustainability into the heart of our projects and work collaboratively with our clients to achieve results that will stand the test of time. If you would like to discuss a commercial sustainability project with us, please don’t hesitate to get in touch via the contact form below, or call us on 0151 653 5566.