April 28, 2022

In this post-pandemic world, work may never return to what we once considered “normal”. Many have pivoted to take on a more virtual approach through hybrid and even entirely remote options. What does this mean for workspaces?  As a business owner, the past two years have meant adapting work environments to suit the productivity needs of your workforce while trying to retain the company culture. An office renovation may be the answer to rapidly changing behavioral needs – innovating work environments to set teams up for success in the modern workplace. If renovation is the answer, how can businesses and property owners plan and analyze a project with sustainability in mind?

Kolar specializes in a core set of design capabilities that we have honed and perfected over the past three decades. Our unique methodology combines data and design to deliver spaces that enhance your workforce experience. Planning a renovation with sustainability in mind can be incorporated across many aspects of our services, including the research and insights behind a redesign, developing an interior strategy, and creating an experience that engages your employees and leaves a smaller footprint on the planet.

Referencing the 2020 article A Methodological Framework for Sustainable Office Building Renovation Using Green Building Rating Systems and Cost-Benefit Analysis, organizations can follow the framework for their own remodel strategies.

Data Collection

The first step to planning a sustainable remodel is to understand your current impact through data collection. This includes inspecting and documenting the existing condition of your space, energy usage, and environmental impact of your workspace. Once you have an idea of your impact, you can create goals for improvement.

Going Green

There are many avenues a company can take to create sustainable renovation goals. Perhaps the biggest impact, although time and investment-intensive, would be securing green rating systems which help organizations adhere to world-class standards for designing and building sustainably. But this is not the only option. There are simple ways that companies can choose more green project options. Selecting environmentally friendly and responsibly resourced materials is one easy renovation decision that can have a large impact. Sourcing materials from local vendors versus having products shipped from afar means less carbon emissions and supports your local economy.

There are also ways to layout your work environment to be more energy-efficient. For example, choosing a design layout that maximizes the use of natural sunlight. This can save lighting costs, as well as heating costs during the colder months. Another option is landscaping – how can trees and plants provide shade in summer? Is a green roof possible to help keep interiors cool? There are relatively easy ways to incorporate sustainability in a work renovation that are quick to implement and cost-effective for operations.

The Benefits of Going Green

Apart from cost savings, choosing to go green with your office renovation has numerous benefits for your people and how they interact with their workspace. Being surrounded by an eco-friendly environment improves concentration, lessening attention fatigue and driving productivity by 20%. A study completed by the University of Twente further finds that green office spaces produce higher morale and lesser headaches among employees. Going green also reflects positively on a brand. Consumers are becoming more conscious of the companies and organizations they choose to support, and many will make purchasing or business decisions based on a company’s sustainable practices. Last, and perhaps the most important reason, is the impact going green has on the planet. Choosing sustainable options for a workplace renovation may seem small, but small decisions made by many leads to change.

There are several considerations and steps that go into a renovation, with sustainability being an important facet. This article provides a bird’s eye view of some of the core decisions companies can make when designing sustainably. Kolar is experienced and ready to work with contractors and third-party teams to make green renovation a reality – to transform space that benefits your people, your goals, and the planet.

To learn more about the Kolar team, visit here.