Environmentally Friendly Office Relocation
If you’re planning an office move, one consideration will be the carbon footprint of your project. With sustainability becoming ever more important, this is now a key aspect of every office relocation.
As a design & build company, we’re often asked by prospective clients about how to minimise the environmental impact of their office relocation.
There are two aspects to minimising the carbon footprint of your office relocation. The first is the move itself – the design & fit out of your office and the relocation. The second is using the project as an opportunity to reduce your carbon emissions as a company going forward.
In this article, we’ll walk you through 4 actionable ways you can reduce the carbon footprint of your office relocation. We'll include aspects that apply to the project and ongoing.
Relocate or Refurbish
Before you start planning your office relocation, you should first consider whether you need to move office at all. You may be able to resolve your current workspace challenges by refurbishing your existing office. In some cases, this may not be possible – if your space is far too small, for example.
If you do have a choice, refurbishment will almost always have lower emissions than an office relocation. You will retain a lot more of your existing workspace, such as flooring and partitions, which will avoid the need to purchase new. You will also avoid the need to transport all your equipment to the new office.
However, there is much more to the relocate vs refurbish decision than sustainability. Whilst emissions are important, you need to prioritise your current workspace challenges. Your ultimate priority should be why you are considering moving office at all. Other important factors such as cost, space, disruption, and culture all have to be taken into account. For help making the right decision, read Office Refurbishment v Office Relocation - Which is Best for Me?
If you do decide that you need to move office, a major step of the relocation process will be to choose a new office. A key consideration in this process should be the energy efficiency of your new space.
Office operational costs typically amount to around 25% of annual rent. The majority of this is energy costs. A modern or recently upgraded building will typically be much more energy efficient than an older building. This is because it will be better insulated and have much more efficient utilities.
When determining the energy efficiency of a potential new office, an up-to-date EPC rating is crucial. EPC is a measure of the energy efficiency of a building. Not only is this a crucial sustainability indicator, its also important from a compliance perspective. By 2030, all offices in London will require a B+ EPC rating to be leased to tenants. 80% of London office currently don’t meet this criteria, so making sure your new office does is crucial.
Re-use Existing Furniture
Another way you can improve the sustainability of your office relocation is by re-using as much of your existing office as possible. An office relocation will require a lot of new features, such as flooring, partitions and so on. Re-use will mainly apply to your furniture, fixtures, and equipment (FF&E).
Re-using as much as you can of your current FF&E will eliminate the carbon footprint of purchasing new. However, you should only do this if your current FF&E still meets your needs and is of sufficient quality.
If your furniture is not suitable for re-use, you could look at other more sustainable options than purchasing new. Second-hand or refurbished furniture is often available for standard items like desks and task chairs. This will help reduce the carbon impact of your office relocation.
Environmentally Friendly Fit-Out
Re-using your existing items or purchasing second-hand will not be possible for a lot of your workspace. In this case, you can mitigate the environmental impact by using responsibly sourced and manufactured materials.
In your brief, you can request that your design & build company uses FSC wood, non-synthetic upholstery, and so on. There are also many carbon-neutral product ranges. Your designer will be able to advise you on your specific requirements.
Sustainable Office Relocation
Sustainability is an important consideration in any office relocation. Construction projects are notorious for their high environmental cost. Reducing the emissions of your project as much as you can is important.
These 4 actionable steps will help you improve your sustainability in both the short and long term. By deciding if you should relocate or refurbish your existing office, you could avoid the emissions costs of relocation entirely. Choosing an energy-efficient new office will make a major impact on your sustainability going forward. You can also reduce the carbon impact of your new office fit out by reusing as much as possible and making environmentally conscious specifications.
To take the next step, download our Sustainability in Office Design Guide. There, you’ll learn about how to design an energy-efficient office, going carbon neutral as a company, and how to minimise the emissions cost of your new office.
To learn more about the compliance aspect of sustainability and energy efficiency, read What Does EPC 2030 Mean For Office Tenants? We’ll cover what EPC 2030 is, why it matters to you as a tenant, and key changes that may be needed to your office to reach the required standard.