The business world is now paying much more attention to the environmental issues; especially compared to five or ten years ago.
The “green” thinking is now becoming an inseparable part of the office fit-out business as well. Both the commercial refurbishment contractors and the business owners started always looking for the most sustainable options at every stage of a project.
This article provides some insider tips for a “sustainable” office fit-out project by a principal contractor company that has been working as principal contractor on a wide variety of office fit-outs:
As the principal contractor, you must educate the client and discuss the benefits of being sustainable.
Be clear to explain that sustainable solutions may cost a little more initially but the long term cost savings and credibility as a ‘green’ business will be considerable. It is important for clients to be helped through this decision making process.
There is nothing more wasteful and unsustainable than having to rearrange the office space and lay-outs after the initial interior design project has been completed.
You can really achieve major savings if the design and the space are considered in terms of standard construction sizes. This saves cutting and wasting products like plasterboard.
Durability and ease of maintenance are vital to both the cost savings and the need to carry out a similar project in the near future; thus minimising the impact on the environment.
- It is vital that the business owner (or the facilities manager) understand the benefits of the “eco-friendly” approach to the project.
- Do understand the client’s business and how office fit out company they work so the layout and overall design of the office is right and fit for purpose.
- Think how the waste can be recycled and minimised during both the strip-out and fit-out processes.
- Consider every product used to ensure longevity and life cycle costings.
- Source sustainable products and look for chain of custody certification with wood products.
- Ensure the building envelope has the highest possible levels of insulation and air-tightness so that heat is not lost from the building.
- Look carefully at the mechanical and engineering aspects of the project so that they deliver maximum energy savings and payback.
- Use BREEAM and other assessment methods to set the standard for sustainable design best practice. Undertake calculations before and after each project to ascertain that the environmental performance standards originally set have been achieved.