Beautiful Examples of Sustainable Office Design

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Beautiful Examples of Sustainable Office Design

Published 24/06/2016

11 Beautiful Examples of Sustainable Office Design

When creating the ultimate office space, the emphasis is no longer purely on aesthetics and functionality. The need for office design to be sustainable is paramount, and thankfully, innovative new designs are making the concept of a sustainable office more attainable, not to mention exciting!

Here we will look at some great examples of how offices are successfully combining sustainability with cutting-edge design.

1. Park life

Incorporating nature into the interior of an office, as per this ‘picnic green’ and living wall at HOK London, isn’t purely an aesthetic feature. The presence of greenery has a noticeably positive effect on workers, so much so that reports highlight that a ‘green’ office can boost productivity by 15%. Aside from the greenery, the office is designed using low formaldehyde and low volatile-organic compounds for finishes, furniture and carpets.

2. Working with the elements

Using nature itself to create the shell of your workplace is one way of working with the environment. Albert France-Lanord Architects did exactly that when they transformed an old anti-atomic shelter into The White Mountain Office. Buried 100 feet underground in Stockholm, the 4000 square foot space is arguably one of the coolest example of nature meeting functionality.

3. Upcycling

Repurposing has reached new heights with the growing trend for upcycling warehouse containers. The Pallotta Teamworks LA offices, designed by Clive Wilkinson Architects, not only looks great; they were also awarded for having reduced energy usage, despite being created on a low construction budget.

4. Recycle and replenish

Another great example of upcycling is Hayden Place, a 11,650 square foot building in Culver City, that has been converted from an existing warehouse by International design company, Cunningham Group Architecture. Designed to LEED® Gold Certification standards, Hayden Place features numerous sustainable features, including indoor and outdoor gardens, repurposed shipping containers, light sensors and trickle vents.

5. Embracing the Great Outdoors

Drawing inspiration from nature was certainly on the agenda when Selgas Cano Architecture created their studios deep in the woods in Madrid, Spain. The glass ceiling brings employees closer to nature, and allows the maximum amount of natural light to flood in.

6. Fusing the old with the new

As the old saying goes, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”, and that is exactly the theory behind Parliament Design’s Office in Portland, Oregon. Unused signs, recovered wood, crates, boxes and even a salvaged pizza oven and an old bear skin rug create a vibrant, chilled and ultimately creative working environment. Ticking the boxes for both environmental and aesthetic elements, this funky work space also gets a big ‘thumbs up’ for cost effectiveness.

7. Let in the light

One of the biggest power drains in an office is the amount of artificial light required to illuminate the work space, more often than not, designed to replicate natural daylight. The obvious solution when designing an office is to incorporate as much natural light into the space as possible. This was the approach that Fokkema & Partners Architecten took when designing the new offices for global consulting firm EY, in the Netherlands. Open spaces, white furniture and large expanses of glass all contribute towards the ultimate aim of creating an abundance of natural daylight.

8. Personalisation in a corporate world

The most environmentally friendly office in London is the Price Waterhouse Cooper building. Amongst many environmental attributes, the offices feature an IT system that allows individual workers to personalise their own workspace by controlling the light and heating temperatures.

9. Bringing the outside in

Organic curves and heavily planted workspaces secured several prestigious awards for Open Architecture and Design’s ‘Office Greenhouse’ in Riga, Latvia. Designed with the psychological and physical wellbeing of employees in mind, Office Greenhouse promotes health and serenity with the inclusion of multiple large potted plants.

10. Climbing the walls

Living wall systems are a great way to integrate greenery into an office, especially when space is limited. The Centrica Office in Oxford has an impressive 93m2 living wall, which helped contribute to the building’s BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating. Not only does the three storey wall look impressive, it also acts as an acoustic buffer and a natural filter that works to improve air quality.

11. Unlimited Wood

Rich dark woods, such as Ebony and Mahogany, can have a stunning, opulent effect in an office environment, however as these woods are now critically endangered, they are clearly not an option. A great alternative is engineered real veneer finishes, which are used to create stylish ‘wood’ products, such as Premdor’s range of Portfolio interior doors, which encompass all the style values and rich tones of natural dark wood, without the environmental implications. This is an ideal solution for internal office doors, especially when consistency and quality is required, something that would certainly no longer be possible with real wood finishes.