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Sustainable Office Design: Your Complete Guide [+ Examples & Ideas]

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Author: Sylvia Mauro | Senior Vice President
Sustainable Office Design: Your Complete Guide [+ Examples & Ideas]

For organizations committed to lessening their environmental impact, sustainable design considerations should be top-of-mind — especially when considering renovations or setting up a brand new office space. Did you know that earth-friendly design choices have a positive impact on much more than the planet? Sustainable design comes with perks for both your business and employees as well.

Think your office could benefit from sustainable design practices? Read on to find out more about what they are and get some inspiration for your own workspaces.

What Is Sustainable Office Design?

On a large scale, sustainable office design is a byproduct of what’s referred to in business as “the triple bottom line,” or the concept that organizations should devote as much energy to measuring their social and environmental impact as they do to nurturing their finances. This concept focuses on the “three P’s” — profit, people and planet — and sustainable office design is a great way for organizations to support the planet.

At its heart, the practice involves making choices that minimize energy consumption, reduce waste and utilize sustainable materials in an organization’s workplaces. By including earth-friendly design elements in office planning, businesses can make a positive impact on the environment by reducing their ecological footprints.

Who Should Consider Sustainable Office Design?

As a result of increased environmental awareness and corporate responsibility, adopting more sustainable processes has become an increasingly important focus for businesses of all sizes. It doesn’t matter whether an organization is a small startup or a large corporation, companies can adopt earth-friendly design practices on a scale that works for their individual teams, goals and budgets.

What Are the Benefits of Sustainable Office Spaces?

Incorporating green design elements such as natural light sources, plant life and energy-efficient appliances into your workspace comes with benefits for both the environment and your business. When followed, sustainable office design practices can:

  • Reduce energy and resource consumption, resulting in a smaller carbon footprint
  • Boost employee satisfaction and productivity
  • Enhance your company’s reputation and make it more attractive to potential customers, partners and job seekers
  • Help achieve long-term financial savings through reduced energy bills, tax benefits and increased profits

5 Examples of Sustainable Office Design

Don’t know where to start when it comes to working earth-friendly elements into your office aesthetic? Check out these real-world examples for some inspiration:

Rooftop Oasis

modern outdoor rooftop with tables, chairs and plants. With business people conversing.

This rooftop garden creates an eco-friendly gathering place for employees through a creative use of space, bio-based building materials and native plant choices.

Green Design for Productivity

A city rooftop featuring a garden-lined patio with tables and chairs. People are seated at the tables in the foreground while others stand and mingle toward the back.

Earth-friendly sound absorption products, such as Sustainable Sound, use recycled materials to create beautiful spaces that have great acoustics. Better sound quality supports employee and client comfort, privacy and productivity.

Stylish Recycling Stations

Two images of recycling stations stacked on top of each other. The top image features three clear bins that are placed side-by-side. The left bin has an orange rim and label that reads "mixed recycling". The middle bin has a black rim and label that reads "general waste". The right bin has a red rim and label that reads "plastic bottles". In the bottom image, the bin for plastic bottles is on the left, the bin for general waste is in the middle and a bin with a grey rim and label that reads "cans" is on the right.

Providing an eye-catching and easy-to-use recycling area in your office breakroom encourages employees to participate in your company’s recycling program. Though less visible than other examples, this initiative remains an impactful element of sustainable office design.

Biophilic Elements

 A light and airy office space with a wood floor, white walls and large windows that let in natural light. Plants are placed throughout the room, both on the flor and on a book shelf toward the back. Behind the bookshelf, a group of people are seated around a table.

This type of design incorporates green elements, such as plant life, sunlight and natural materials to bring the best of the outdoors inside. What’s more, biophilic design comes with benefits for your employees, including improved cognitive function and both physical and mental health.

LED Walls

A classroom with beige walls, long tables and yellow rolling chairs. At the front of the space is an LED wall displaying an image of tree branches and a nest against a blue sky.

Energy-efficient technology is another important piece of sustainable office design strategy, and LED walls are a great example of this. Choosing equipment and investing in tech that use energy conservatively has a positive effect on both your carbon footprint and your bottom line.


Bringing Sustainable Design to Your Office

Making sustainable design choices is important for businesses that strive to be environmentally conscious and want to improve employee well-being and long-term profitability at the same time. These choices also come with benefits for your organization, such as a reduced environmental impact, enhanced reputation and improved productivity.

Whether you’re looking to shrink your carbon footprint or create a more efficient workplace, DGI can provide the insights and tools you need to bring sustainable design practices (and their payoffs) to your office. To learn more about the latest trends in workplace design, check out our free eBook: Top 10 Workplace Collaboration, Technology and Room Design Trends for 2024.

Ready to go green at your office? DGI’s industry-leading team is standing by. Contact us today to discuss your needs and how we can help you achieve your goals.

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Sylvia Mauro | Senior Vice President

Sylvia E. Mauro has been with the DGI Communications since 1998. She began her career at DGI as a customer service representative and later became the manager of the sales support team and installation departments. Since 2009, Sylvia has served as a senior project manager and account executive for several of DGI’s top clients. As a member of the executive team, Sylvia is instrumental in informing the vision of the company from both a marketing standpoint as well as improving the customer experience.

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