5 January, 2024
Sustainable office design: Creating a carbon-positive office
How designing a new office space could be the more sustainable option for your business long-term.

In an era where business choices significantly impact our planet, Maris Interiors redefines office spaces with sustainability at their core. Join us in exploring how sustainable office design isn’t just a trend, but an ethical imperative and a smart business decision, paving the way for a greener, more productive future.

Echoing the sentiments of former Supreme Court Associate Justice Potter Stewart, “Ethics is knowing the difference between what you have a right to do and what is right to do”, is crucial.

Workplace design offers a unique opportunity to not only mitigate ecological damage but to actively enhance environmental health. This is achieved by constructing spaces that are environmentally considerate and promote sustainable practices.

What is decarbonisation?

Decarbonisation in office design focuses on reducing carbon emissions through sustainable practices like using renewable energy, efficient lighting, and eco-friendly materials. It aims to create healthier, energy-efficient workspaces that contribute positively to the environment and align with global climate goals.

Sustainable office design for Invest Industrial

Pioneering sustainable office design

Maris stands committed to developing work and educational spaces that are not only healthy and resilient but also environmentally beneficial. This commitment is reflected in:

  • Our team, comprising BREEAM, LEED, and SKA accredited designers.
  • An award-winning Safety, Health & Environmental team.
  • An ISO 14001 certified environmental management system.
  • Recognition as a leading Green Company by the Sunday Times.
  • Our headquarters’ BREEAM Excellent rating, a benchmark in sustainable design.

In every client project, we integrate sustainability from design to construction.

Read how sustainability makes us more creative as designers

Sustainable construction practices

During our construction phase, we place a strong emphasis on minimising environmental impact. This is achieved by reducing energy consumption during the strip out and fit-out stages, meticulously tracking energy usage to ensure efficiency.

We also prioritise the maximisation of material reuse and recycling, aiming to significantly lessen waste. Additionally, our selection process heavily favors materials and products that have a low carbon impact, aligning with our commitment to sustainable practices.

Post-construction: Sustaining carbon neutrality

Post-construction efforts focus on enhancing carbon neutrality in daily operations, including:

  • Achieving BREEAM ‘Excellent’ and EPC ‘B’ ratings.
  • Implementing circular economy strategies aligned with ESG principles.
  • Pursuing WELL certification to ensure wellbeing.
  • Striving for Net Zero Carbon (NZC) in projects.
  • Offering sustainable building guides.
  • Bridging the gap between design and operational performance.

What is an EPC (Energy Performance Certificate)?

An EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) rating assesses a building’s energy efficiency, graded from ‘A’ (most efficient) to ‘G’ (least efficient). Aiming for high EPC ratings is essential in creating energy-efficient, low-carbon workspaces. The EPC Regulations 2030 require that all non-domestic rented buildings must have an EPC rating of B or better by 2030.

BREEAM: The Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method

BREEAM, the Building Research Establishment Environmental Assessment Method, is a leading global system for certifying sustainable buildings. It enhances performance from design to daily use. At Maris, we conduct BREEAM pre-assessments to target the ‘Excellent’ rating, ensuring top sustainability standards for projects requiring certification.

Simon Kucher - sustainable office design in the heart of London

The WELL Building Standard

The WELL Building Standard® is a performance-based system for measuring, certifying and monitoring features of the built environment that impact human health and well-being through measuring the principles of:

  • Air
  • Light
  • Movement 
  • Thermal comfort 
  • Water 
  • Nourishment 
  • Sound
  • Mind

Advance Net Zero Carbon (NZC) building operations

NZC operations are crucial in reducing the built environment’s carbon footprint, incorporating strategies like material reuse and energy-efficient systems.

See how we transformed one of London’s most iconic buildings for a leading Italian brand

Designing for the circular economy

In our commitment to the principles of the circular economy, we focus on eliminating unnecessary components in our designs. By incorporating thoughtful design, we facilitate easy repair and replacement, extending the lifecycle of materials used in our projects. Additionally, we prioritise choosing reclaimed and low-impact materials, further reducing our environmental footprint and promoting sustainability.

To achieve that, we can do things such as:

  • Design out the need for components (passive rather than active HVAC), avoiding surplus finishes and wet finishes such as paints.
  • Designing in layers to allow independent replacement or repairs and future disassembly through things like low tack adhesives.
  • Specifying reclaimed (reused) materials over new ones.
  • Selecting products which are inherently low impact and reusable at the end of their first life.

Conclusion

Sustainable office design is more than a design philosophy; it’s a commitment to the future. We’re dedicated to leading this change, creating workspaces that not only benefit the environment but also enhance the wellbeing and productivity of their users. Embracing sustainability is not just a choice – it’s an essential step towards a more responsible and efficient world.

Want to create a carbon-positive asset from your workspace?

Speak to the team at Maris