Energy Efficient Offices

Offices are energy-consuming buildings; between heating and cooling, lighting, and technology and equipment required to run a business, the amount of energy used continues to rise. 

With more builders and contractors committing to sustainable building, commercial offices are becoming more green, or environmentally friendly. Green buildings are designed and constructed with sustainable materials that make the building more energy-efficient and reduces energy costs.

Business owners don’t often have control over how the building was built, unless moving into a brand new development. But there are things every office can do to maximize energy conservation and reduce costs. 

HVAC 

Space heating accounts for 25% of energy use in commercial buildings, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). Ideally, a building will have proper insulation to help maintain a comfortable temperature. In older buildings, this cannot always be achieved. Whether you are leasing office space or own the building, maintaining your HVAC system can help decrease energy use and save money. Here are some ways to make the most of your HVAC:

  • Clean filters. Dirty filters slow down airflow. Check any filters regularly and change as necessary.
  • Program heating and cooling. Program the temperature of the office. After employees leave for the day, the heat (or AC) does not need to be turned up as high. 
  • Equipment tune-up. To make sure all systems are working efficiently, get a tune-up from an HVAC professional. 

Lighting

Lighting is one of the easiest ways to make energy-saving changes to your office space. Because lighting makes up 10% of the total energy use in buildings, it is worth the effort.

  • Motion sensor lights. Motion sensor lights are ideal for areas that are occupied during certain times of the day, including parking lots, stairways, and meeting rooms. 
  • Make the most of natural light. Builders are taking more advantage of natural light. Through a process called daylighting, sunlight illuminates buildings, cutting energy use and costs. This provides an added bonus – sunlight increases positive moods of everyone in the workspace. 
  • LED lights. LED bulbs last longer than fluorescent and incandescent lighting, and reduce the amount of energy used. 

Office Technology and Appliances

Offices are filled with technology and appliances – from computers and copiers to refrigerators and microwaves. Being mindful in your selection of these items can significantly reduce energy usage. 

  • Laptops. Laptops use up to 90% less energy than desktops. Depending on how many people work on computers in your office, this can make a significant difference.
  • ENERGY STAR. ENERGY STAR appliances, computers, copiers, televisions, and even fans and thermostats, are the most efficient equipment for the office. 

Minimizing energy consumption in the workplace is beneficial for both the environment and your business savings. As we take on new developments, we are mindful of sustainable practices and work to make each building as environmentally friendly as possible. 

 

6 Tips for Creating a Productive Office Space

Most people spend more time at the office than their own home throughout the week. When moving into a new office, think beyond cubicles and desks so that you and your employees can be productive in an inspiring and comfortable atmosphere. 

In our commercial projects, Horton Group continues to work closely with a range of business owners to design and build their dream offices.  At our current commercial development, 350 Goose Lane Office Park, we have built offices for large national corporations, small business owners, and everything in between.

Below are six tips for creating a productive office space, no matter what industry you work in.

Ask for Employee Input

Ask your employees what their dream office would look like. You won’t be able to incorporate all of their ideas, but if you find out that 90% of the people working for you would utilize standing desks, for example, you can determine how to fit a couple into your office space. 

When employees are given the opportunity to set up their own workspace, they have more satisfaction and better performance at work compared to employees who have no control over their environment. 

Traffic flow

Utilizing the space efficiently is essential no matter what size office you have. Consider how people will move from work areas to meeting rooms, the bathroom, and kitchen areas. Keeping these common areas clear of clutter makes it much easier to move around the office.  Traffic flow is especially important if you have customers or patients coming in and out of the office all day. 

Don’t Neglect the Basics: Lighting, Noise, and Temperature

We’ve all been uncomfortable or distracted while on the job. The more you can eliminate small annoyances, the better. This means paying attention to lighting, noise, and temperature in the office. 

Natural light is ideal, but not always possible. In spaces without windows, opt for overhead lighting options that mimic natural light. Unnecessary noise at work can decrease productivity and increase headaches. Ask your builder or contractor what can be done to eliminate noise from other offices. Finally, make sure the temperature can be easily controlled in the office. 

Variety of Workspaces

A variety of workspace options is essential in increasing productivity. Some parts of the day may require an independent work station where people can tune out the rest of the office and tackle important phone calls or deadlines. Other times employees may need to connect with coworkers in a collaborative meeting area or a step into a quiet room to decompress. By incorporating numerous spaces to work in, people can move around throughout the day and tailor the space to their work needs. 

Greenspace

Whenever possible, incorporate green space. A beautifully landscaped property can include an additional workspace in good weather. The benefits of green space for employees include increased job satisfaction and decreased stress. 

Plan for Growth

As a business owner, chances are you have a 1, 5, and 10-year plan. Will the office you are creating today be able to hold your vision for the future? Take into consideration the fact that you will expand, leaving some wiggle room for reorganization. 

 

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