Go Green in 2018: Transform your fitout into a sustainable space

Companies all over Australia are increasingly feeling a responsibility to go green and build eco-friendly practices into their fitouts.
From office and shop to medical fitouts, careful consideration is being given across the board to  go green and reduce environmental impact by materials being chosen, the way in which products are being made in the factory, and carbon neutral practices.

Embracing an eco-friendly fitout design can be very appealing to your clients as it’s undoubtedly a growing trend to “go green” these days and reduce your impact on the natural environment.
It may also save you precious dollars long term.

Lighten your Lighting
Lighting is obviously a non-negotiable in all office, shop and medical fitouts, but do your lights need to stay on when staff and clients aren’t in certain rooms of your tenancy? If you really looked into it, you may in fact be surprised by how many hours lights are turned on in areas of your fitout when they needn’t be. If this rings true for you, consider developing an energy efficient lighting scheme. As part of this scheme, lighting can be programmed so that motion detection picks up when people move in and out of spaces within your fitout. As people move in to a room, the lights turn on; after they leave all or most of the lights turn off. Replacing your lighting with power saving LED bulbs is also a good move as these 100% recyclable bulbs reduce greenhouse gas emissions and landfill disposal. Also try to embrace natural light as best you can, open up walls, install sky lights, consider large picture windows and build in transparent wall panels.

Be cool, naturally
Another key aspect of your energy efficient scheme can include cooling. In South East Queensland, it’s no surprise that our clients always request that cooling be included as a critical component of their office, shop or medical fitout. This doesn’t have to mean installation of a major artificial air conditioning system though. Using natural ventilation as much as possible can often be suitable for a large portion of the year, supplemented by artificial cooling in the summer months. It’s just about being clever about how to draw cool breezes through the space, bringing the cool air in and moving the hot air out in a subtle and non-obtrusive way. Similar to motion detection sensors for lighting, we love it when our clients opt for heat detection sensors in their automatic blinds. These beauties detect when direct sunlight is hitting windows and trigger the blinds to be lowered to cool the internal space.

Walk on eco flooring
The options for green flooring solutions these days are ample. If you’re considering updating the flooring throughout your fitout, consider an eco-friendly upgrade with renewable materials such as low impact carpet, bamboo, and recycled timber. These options are environmentally friendly and given their current trend are extremely stylish, with lots of colour and texture options available.

Go green and paint it green
Did you know that everyday paint is comprised of harmful, toxic materials which can contribute to air pollution? Many of our clients are now opting for low toxic paint with green certification, and there’s so many options on the market these days that colour choice isn’t an issue. In fact, most toxin-free paints offer the same performance and service life as conventional toxic paints, and some even offer antimicrobial properties that are resistant to marking.

Grow a better future
Incorporating indoor gardens and green walls is not only visually impactful, it also boosts oxygen levels in your office let alone staff morale. To go one step further though, consider an edible garden by incorporating herbs and salad plants throughout your office in planter boxes, open framed walls, vertical gardens and green walls. Encourage staff and clients to pick the greens for their lunch, and start up a care program where staff are required to water the plants. This gets everyone thinking about greener alternatives and gives your staff ownership over your green space, which is valuable for employee contentment and commitment.

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