Design a Sustainable Summer

Stylish ways to beat the heat at the office

The summer season means higher temperatures, and renewed efforts to reduce your facility’s consumption. Yes, you can do the usual – unplug idle equipment, install LED bulbs, and monitor your water usage. Making an eco-friendly office this summer is also a great opportunity to create a more imaginative – and beautiful – space. For some inspired sustainable ideas, check out these tips below.

In the Shade
Thanks to the long summer days, this is a great time to take advantage of natural light. More sunlight, however, also means more heat, which could increase your energy consumption for air-conditioning. Find the best of both worlds with heat-shielding window treatments, but keep in mind the additional maintenance required. Cellular or “honeycomb” shades often feature anti-static and dust-repelling properties, while elegant roman shades can be cleaned easily with a vacuum cleaner brush attachment or damp cloth.

Green with Imagination
The hot summer is no excuse not to indulge your green thumb. For your surrounding grounds, consider “xeriscaping,” which means landscaping with local and drought-resistant plants that require less water. If you don’t have extensive grounds, green rooftops make a beautiful alternative – creating more social spaces for your team to enjoy, like this one at the Miami Dade Children’s Courthouse. Green rooftops reduce building energy use by cooling roofs and providing shading, thermal mass and insulation.

Inspired Lighting
Gone are the days of harsh blue lights as the only option for energy efficiency. The newest LED designs prove equally stylish, from overhead lighting to desk lamps. These models also can be programed to adapt to the environment to save energy. Consider options that provide “occupant sensors,” which automatically turn off lights when no one is present, and adjust levels when natural light is vibrant. Discuss with your maintenance team about managing the new system.