Why Sustainable Office Design is Key to Improving Wellbeing and Building Performance

October 10, 2023

Just what is sustainable office design?

Sustainable office design is all about using natural, recycled, sustainable materials, and implementing more energy-efficient technologies to create a healthier and more eco-friendly workplace.

What materials should be used for sustainable office design?

By incorporating eco-friendly materials, businesses can reduce their carbon footprint and create a more healthy, productive workplace.

Wood: Using wood in office design introduces a little nature into the workplace and reduces the need for synthetic materials. Bamboo and cork are great choices as they are renewable, durable and require less energy to produce than traditional materials.

Recycled materials: Using recycled materials such as plastic, metal and glass reduces the amount of waste in landfills and conserves resources.

Energy-efficient materials: LED lighting, low-flow taps, and energy-efficient appliances can significantly reduce energy consumption.

Energy-efficient technologies can reduce the office’s carbon footprint

In most buildings, heating, venting and air conditioning (HVAC) makes an impact on the environment. New HVAC units are more efficient and use less energy, while modern insulation reduces the amount of energy leaking outside. IoT devices and smart sensors can be used to manage lighting and other environmental systems so that when the space is unoccupied, energy is not expended.

What are the benefits of sustainable office design?

Sustainable office design is a smart investment for businesses looking to improve employee wellbeing and performance while reducing their environmental impact.

Improved Indoor Air Quality: By using natural materials such as wood, stone and plants, the office environment will enjoy better air quality. Why? Because these materials help to filter out pollutants and toxins and sustain a healthier workplace.

Reduced Energy Costs: Harnessing more natural light and using more energy-efficient lighting, heating and cooling systems will lead to less money spent on energy.

Increased Staff Wellbeing: Traditional office spaces often rely on artificial lighting, which can lead to eye strain and headaches. By incorporating more windows and skylights, natural light has been shown to reduce stress levels in employees, increase their productivity and improve their morale.

Improved Performance: When people work in a space that prioritises their wellbeing, they are more likely to feel valued and motivated. The combination of things like improved air quality, better lighting, and reduced stress levels can lead to a happier, more productive team and enhance employee retention rates.

CSR: Sustainable office design can help businesses to comply with environmental regulations and demonstrate compliance to their stakeholders.

More natural light is vital. How can it be optimised in office design?

Open floor plans and glass partitions can help to increase natural light flow throughout the office space. Reflective surfaces such as mirrors, light-coloured walls, and glossy flooring will help to bounce natural light around the office and make it feel brighter. Light-filtering materials like translucent blinds and frosted glass will allow natural light to shine through. One thing that can be overlooked sometimes is outside obstructions. Overgrown trees should be trimmed to allow more natural light to enter the office.

Metec is LEEDing the way

LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification is the benchmark standard for energy-efficient buildings, with many building owners making it a requisite in their building design. LEED-certified buildings produce 34% lower CO2 emissions, consume 25% less energy and 11% less water.


When Metec was brought on to work on the Irish Life Customer Care Office Building in Dundalk, we helped them to achieve their objective of earning the LEED Gold standard and a BER A3 rating for this 5,400 square metre, three-story, open plan space. We did this through high-quality mechanical and electrical design that incorporates primary ventilation, LED lighting, and a green building approach that meets all of the client’s sustainability targets.


At Metec, we design sustainable office spaces that help people perform

We can sometimes get so caught up in how a building functions, and all of the engineering thinking and design we put into it, that we can forget why we are doing it. At Metec, we always keep sight of the WHY: the human in the building.

If you would like to know more about the benefits of sustainable office design, whether it be from the outset of a design or for the retrofit of an existing building, get in touch with the team at Metec today.

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