The Importance of Sustainability in Design

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Sustainability is all about time.

When out-of-date office designs stop functioning for employees and start affecting output, the offices are stripped down and remodeled. As a result, scraps and materials are destroyed and wasted at an extreme cost to the environment. The practice of sustainable development seeks to put a stop to this cycle of building and demolishing.

Sustainability takes the future into consideration when making office developments, thus creating solutions that last. Office designs should cater to today’s generation, but they should also anticipate the needs of future generations who will use the space. By planning and designing workscapes that transcend generations, we avoid demolitions that negatively impact the environment.

The easiest way to address issues such as climate change and greenhouse gas emissions is to look at the world’s buildings. Buildings account for 40% of the world’s energy use, making sustainable architecture and design absolutely essential. The benefits of sustainability go beyond a healthier ecosystem – it can also improve employee health and performance.

Sustainability Means Designing For Your People

Sustainability begins in the planning stages of an office’s design, and this is perhaps the most crucial stage.

When envisioning a workspace, it’s important to design for the people who will be using it. By designing with the employees’ needs in mind, you are ensuring that the space will efficiently serve its purpose for years to come.

With this in mind, the most important thing to consider is communication. Does your space offer areas where employees can collaborate together? Does it cater to the different types of interactions that happen during the work day? Is there a place for traditional meetings to occur? Your workscape should provide employees with different gathering areas that will suit the type of work they are performing.

In addition, your office’s design should convey your company’s values. It’s easier for both employees and customers to connect with a brand they share values with. Lasting, sustainable office designs show that you value the well-being of your employees and the well-being of the planet.

Sustainability Improves Performance

Well-designed offices that promote sustainability have time and time again shown improvements in employee performance. Workers in green office environments typically experience less stress, have better health and work more efficiently. Alternately, according to Sourceable, “poorly planned working spaces can result in a 20 per cent drop in workers’ productivity and several health and behavioral problems.”

The easiest way to create an environment that is more pleasing to employees is to plan the design of your office around areas with access to views of the outdoors. Employees who have access to windows and natural light perform better and are 23% more efficient.

Additionally, employees will appreciate a workplace that has clean air. Reduce air pollution with indoor filters and purification systems. You won’t be sorry – studies show that improving ventilation can increase productivity by 11%.

Sustainability is a Choice

Sustainable design doesn’t end with the layout of your office. Other details, such as choices in furniture, also impact employee performance. For example, ergonomic chairs are more comfortable and are also better for employee health. Therefore, these chairs will live a longer life within your office. At Workscape, we can help you select ergonomic pieces to outfit your entire space. We are a proud representative of Knoll, one of the most respected names in office furniture.

In addition, we also represent DIRTT Environmental Solutions. DIRTT is a pioneer in modular interior construction – construction methods that make the most of an office space and set it up for a long, healthy life. DIRTT’s work is essential to the sustainability movement, because DIRTT tackles the planning stages of design and looks toward the future.

Here in Pittsburgh, we are privileged to have Sustainable Pittsburgh as a source and guide in the quest to spread sustainability practices throughout southwestern Pennsylvania. “Sustainable Pittsburgh affects decision-making for the Pittsburgh region to integrate economic prosperity, social equity, and environmental quality bringing sustainable solutions for communities and businesses.”

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