In recent years there has been an increasing awareness in corporate, social and responsible (CSR) best practices and how they influence the way we do things. As a result of this focused attention, environmental legislation and regulations have also increased. This includes practices within the workplace.
Therefore, in order to keep up with governmental standards (as advised by the governments’ Green Deal) the workplace must be designed to accommodate these.
In this blog we will look at new governmental energy changes and how the design of your workspace can comply with these without causing disruption.
A sustainable workplace
For a company to adopt a conscientious CSR ethic, not only will it be keeping in line with governmental regulations, but will also help shape the business. This is becoming increasingly important in order for an organisation to stand out from its competitors.
An organisation therefore needs to be aware of legal, environmental changes and regulations to stay up to date. Local authorities and environmental regulators are responsible in ensuring environmental regulation in offices.
A sustainable workplace will respect the environment; make the best possible use of resources as well as taking care of its employees.
The government’s Green Deal can advise you in making energy-saving improvements to your home and workspace.
Insulation, heating, double glazing and renewable energy generation (e.g. solar panels or energy saver bulbs) are all improvements that you should factor into your workspace design to help keep costs down.
Managing waste, avoiding pollution and contamination and procedures to save energy all contribute to a sustainable workplace.
When managing waste within the office, governmental regulations dictate what packaging can be used and how to dispose and store of waste properly. It’s recommended that the amount of packaging used is at a minimum and meets standards in that it can be easily recycled. When disposing of waste, either register as a waste carrier or use a waste-disposal contractor to ensure that you keep in line with regulations.
Depending on the nature of your business you need to decide whether you need an environmental permit. This would be required if your activities produced air pollution. If your business activities discharge any liquid waste other than water you would also need authorization.
Such regulations are in place to make sure that in the planning, design and construction of your workspace, overall safety will improve. This can help generate long-term value among your employees and clients.
Designing a sustainable workspace
Before designing your workspace, a risk assessment must take place to take account of your organisation’s conservational impact. This will help you identify what will need to change in order to improve your environmental practices, which will help reduce energy costs and waste.
Making sure that you have sustainable operations in place will have a number of benefits. Your employees’ health and safety will be improved and the life of the workspace will be prolonged. Using eco-friendly products and procedures will extend equipment usage and consequently maximize efficiency.
When designing office layout, try to gain as much exposure to natural light as possible. As well as saving energy bills, research shows that increased natural light will also improve the wellbeing of your employees. This will also provide a much healthier environment overall – and especially more so if you have an attractive outside view.
Ergonomic equipment, chairs, monitors and moveable lighting will all contribute in maximizing the wellbeing of your employees in providing a healthy and safe working environment.
At Workspace Design and Build we are aware of governmental energy requirements and recommend that you invest in systems that allow occupant control of heating, cooling and lighting systems.
Have you got any tips in how to keep energy costs at a minimum while adhering to governmental changes? If so, or you simply want to leave us a comment, get in touch today or share some of your ideas with us on Twitter and Facebook.