“When a corporate takes up an initiative in the positive direction it is observed and followed by the world. More people can get awareness about the importance of green interiors when the corporates choose to implement it in their own premises”, says Satish Naik, Partner & Chief Designer, A Design Studio
Sustainability in interior design is something that is becoming more and more important in the modern times. We have reached a point in time where it has become highly essential to make sure that all the aspects of our lifestyle and living are planned in accordance with its effects on nature. Preserving the nature is extremely important in the times that we live in so that we can provide a livable and safe future to our subsequent generations. While it is important for everyone to take up the responsibility of living a sustainable life, it is even more important for corporates and multinational corporations to take the lead in setting examples for environment friendly interiors.
You may be compelled to wonder why it is important for corporate companies to set an example and create environmentally viable interiors. One of the most important reasons why MNCs should take the lead in sustainability is because they have a very wide exposure. When a corporate takes up an initiative in the positive direction it is observed and followed by the world. More people can get awareness about the importance of green interiors when the corporates choose to implement it in their own premises. Major business should also choose to go green because they have larger office setups and small steps towards sustainability can have more impact. While sustainability is beneficial for the environment, it is also viable from the economic perspective for the business as lesser use of artificial energy can save a lot of money. People working for the corporate office can also remain free of health issues when they work in a green environment which is in turn further beneficial for the business.
Sustainable methods to build a corporate office:
There are numerous ways in which a green office can be built even when it is spread over a large area. Several small and big measures and ideas can be developed and implemented to make sure that the office is in accordance with the needs of the environment. The best interior design professionals can help in building offices that have a positive impact on nature and make sure that the nature itself helps in building a great office. Here are a number of ideas that can be used in the creation of green corporate interiors:
Furniture is an important part of the interiors of an office space whether it is a big one or a small set up. However, the furniture used in a large office space needs to be planned and built carefully to be able to sustain varied use through a long period of time. In order to make sure that the furniture is made with sustainability on the forefront, the use of green raw materials is important. Recycled wood or MDF for work stations and storage units can be ideal choices. These materials ensure that no new wood is cut down for the building of the office furniture. The use of materials such as glass and acrylic can also be ideal when the furniture needs to last for a large number of years. Use of natural and environment friendly paint for furniture surfaces can also go a long way in providing a sustainable interior design for the office.
An office space is most effective and comfortable when it is lit well and the people working in the space are comfortable with the lighting. It is a norm to fit an office space with as many lights as possible to make sure that the area is well-lit. However, the most sustainable method of lighting an office space is to let in as much natural light as possible. Around the major part of India, we have climatic conditions that let the sun shine for a long part of the day and well into early evening. This means that an office space can make use of natural sun light and make minimal use of artificial lights. In large corporate offices, it is a norm to have full length window walls which allow a great amount of sunlight to enter into the office. Maximum use of these windows and the light that they provide by way of interior design is most important when holistic and integrated green building is planned. The use of natural light not only help in saving costs and building environment friendly interiors but also work wonders for the people that work for the organization. The human body remains healthy and free of diseases when it is able to get a healthy dose of sunlight at the right time of the day, which is usually during busy work hours.
Natural ventilation is becoming a great luxury in times of conditioned and cooled or heated air. People are constantly losing touch with natural air and the feeling of coolness that it provides. Corporate offices can choose to create zones of work which are free of air conditioners and instead provide open to air work stations for the staff to enjoy the nature even as they work. With the help of natural work zones, the design of the office can be made more dynamic, interesting and environment friendly. When people have the option to work from a natural environment they are more likely to pick the choice because of the feeling of freedom that an open air office provides. A happy member of the staff is also more likely to be productive and fruitful for the company.
Integration of Nature in Interiors
While taking the office out may seem to be an ideal choice for a lot of nature lovers, it may not always be a viable solution. However, this does not mean that the nature cannot be used to build sustainable interiors for a corporate office. The use of natural features such as indoor plants can be effect in bringing sustainability in the interiors. Plants are healthy and viable for the nature in general because they absorb carbon dioxide from the air and give out oxygen, when the plants are brought into an office setting they help in balancing out the carbon footprint made by the corporate office. More plants and greenery in the office can also help in creating better aesthetics for the office and keeping the mood of the workplace upbeat. When you are surrounded by beautiful plants, you can be sure about having a happy day at work even as you contribute in a positive way to the environment.
The use of natural resources such as water and electricity should also be planned wisely at the time of the design of an office space for corporate companies. It is important that factors such as solar power and water harvesting are given serious thought when an office is planned. The use of sustainable methods for important utility functions helps in ensuring that the office space contributes to a greener environment without having to go through extensive processes. Recycling of waste water and use of electricity only when it is most needed are basics that should be imbibed into the work culture of the office and this is something that can be founded right at the time of designing the office space. A green office starts its building process right when the first stone is laid, which is why the civil, electrical and plumbing plans for an office space should follow the norms of sustainable building methods.
It can be concluded that corporate offices play an essential role when it comes to sustaining the environment and preserving it. Corporate company authorities should choose to make it clear to their designers and space planners that they seek to contribute in a positive way to the environment through their interiors. When corporates choose to adopt a holistic and integrated approach towards green building they also indirectly educate everyone involved about the importance of sustainability in all aspects of life. One small step towards green building by corporates can have a large impact on a lot of lives in the present as well as the future.