A-Z of the future workplace:

Energy

Sustainability issues have impacted business dealings across the world in the past few years. The sustainability of buildings has assumed a strategic importance and become much more significant in day-to-day business. Business premises are responsible for a high and rising percentage of carbon dioxide emissions and energy consumption.

Over 40% of the delivered energy in Europe is used in buildings, while in the UK two-thirds of that energy is used for heating space, and in commercial buildings 20% of the energy is used for lighting.

So, what can be done to make your workspace more energy efficient?

1. Insulate your roof.
The Carbon Trust estimates that some 25% of a building’s heat can escape through an un-insulated roof. There are many green ways to rectify this by using modern day insulation when fitting out your office.

 

2. Install blinds. 
New legislation is set to be introduced across Europe relating to window and glazing, blinds and shading, linked in part to use of air conditioning systems. One example is the use of integrated blinds to cut air conditioning energy use through the ventilation and cooling benefits they provide. Opening windows causes energy wastage and ingress of pollutants and traffic noise. Reflective and solar film over windows is also effective in keeping heat out of the building when installing glazing/curtain walling.

 

3. Assess your lighting. 
Switching to energy-efficient lighting technology can decrease lighting energy consumption by over 50%. By being clever with the use of directional lamps or reflectors, it is much easier to get the light exactly where you need it in the office.Not only this, using smart lighting can assess how employees use the workspace, detecting whether desks are being utilised at any such time, and if not, turning off the lights around this area. Day light Sensors can also be used to detect how much natural light is coming into a space and adjusting the light levels accordingly.LED lighting is a much more efficient light source than used in the past. Although more expensive initially, the lifespan of an LED lightbulb is far longer than halogen bulbs and requires less power to run due to its low heat levels, durability, and energy efficiency. This lighting source can turn approx. 70% of its energy into light, whereas other alternatives waste a lot of energy by producing heat.

 

4. Laptops over desktops. 
Supply all employees with laptops. Not only does this allow your workforce to be more agile, but laptops consume five times less electricity than a desktop computer. Enabling power management functions on these devices, and ensuring that additional screens are turned off at the end of the day will help to save even more energy.

 

Where to get help with making these changes?

When completing a fitout of your office, we will design with energy efficiency at the forefront of our design plan. If you are looking to relocate, we will compare the energy efficiency of your different building options through assessing the EPCs of each location.

There are also government-funded loans available to assist in the installation of energy-efficient lighting and for other green refurbishment works, for example the Carbon Trust interest free loans scheme and Energy Saving Scotland loans for SMEs.

For more information on how to become more energy efficient in your office, get in touch today.