While your focus when redesigning the interior of your company's headquarters or stores may be on maximizing the beauty and functionality of the space, you should also endeavor to make the area more eco-friendly as well. In addition to reducing your carbon footprint, an environmentally friendly space can be healthier for employees and customers while saving you money. Here are three things you can do to green your interior redesign.
Choose Products Made From Natural Materials
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, people spend approximately 90 percent of their time inside buildings. This is problematic for several reasons. However, the most relevant issue is that indoor airborne pollutants can be 2 to 5 times worse than they are outside.
Part of the problem is that many furnishings and building materials emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can be harmful to human health, particularly to those with allergies and breathing conditions. These compounds come from chemicals used to make the products that are released when said products begin breaking down over time.
Choosing furnishings, building materials, and equipment that have as few VOCs as possible can significantly improve the indoor air quality in your building. For instance, some laminate flooring contains formaldehyde that is emitted into the air as the flooring material degrades. To avoid this, use bamboo flooring instead. Not only does this type of material contain little to no formaldehyde, but it's also sustainable and much durable than most other types of flooring.
An interior designer can provide insight on the best products to use that will help you create a healthier indoor environment for your employees and clients.
Use Natural Lighting as Much as Possible
Another thing you can do to make your interior design more environmentally friendly is to use as much natural light as possible. This may involve installing skylights or moving windows to a different area that gets more sunlight. The benefits of doing this are two-fold. The more natural lighting you can use, the less you will have to depend on artificial lights, which can reduce your energy usage (and the associated bills).
Second, sunlight is needed for good health, because it helps the body produce vitamin D. More access to sunlight can mean healthier employees who work better. Lastly, more windows also mean you can take advantage of the surrounding scenery to create a picturesque environment that make clients feel good about visiting your company.
Be careful, though, and select energy-efficient windows to guard against heat gain and loss of indoor conditioned air. Additionally, more sunlight means an increased risk of color fading of carpets and furniture, so select and position those items accordingly to reduce the damage sunlight can cause.
Make a Home for Greenery
They say a dog is man's best friend, but plants should probably hold that position. Plants perform a number of necessary duties that help keep humans alive. For instance, in addition to producing oxygen, plants filter the air and scrub it of toxins. This can vastly improve the indoor air quality of your building without requiring you to spend money on air filtering machines, fans, and ventilation.
The presence of plants in a space also decreases a variety of health problems, including fatigue, headaches, and coughs as well as helping increase focus. According to one study, students were more 70 percent more attentive when they were in rooms that contained plants.
Designing the space to include greenery also gives it a fresh, natural look that can enhance your company's brand and make the area more inviting to employees and clients.
For more information about eco-friendly interior design or assistance with reimagining your space, contact an interior designer at a company like Robinson Interiors Group.