8 Ways To Make Your Next Refurb Greener

Refurbishing your business' premises is an exciting prospect, but it also gives you the chance to go green, save money and impress clients at the same time.

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Refurbishing your business' premises is an exciting prospect, but it also gives you the chance to go green, save money and impress clients at the same time.


8 Ways To Make Your Next Refurb Greener

Refurbishing your business' premises is an exciting prospect, but it also gives you the chance to go green, save money and impress clients at the same time.

Share this article

Whether you’re office-based or customer facing, there are many reasons a business owner might want to give their premises a facelift.

However, giving your space a new look not only comes at a financial price, but an environmental one, too.

The old adage “Out with the old, in with the new” often means massively increasing your carbon footprint, using up precious resources and creating a huge amount of unrecyclable waste.

Here are eight ways you can go against the grain by reducing the environmental and even financial impact of your next business refurbishment.

1)     Start with your windows

Despite the initial investment, you can save a great deal of money by widening and lengthening your window exteriors.

The extra natural light will not only enable you to keep artificial lights switched off for longer but the sun’s warmth will stop you needing to put the heating on as often; great for long-term savings on bills as well as resources.

interior sunlight

Light is good for morale and it provides warmth

You can even install ceiling fans to keep warm heat lower to make further energy savings.

Keep structural integrity and budget in mind when deciding on how much extra natural light changes you can introduce; if you need a short-term cash injection to cover the expense, even businesses with a patchy credit history can get a loan.

2)     Move onto the walls…

Insulating your inside and outside walls can reduce your energy bills by up to half if done properly, saving resources as well as money.

Make the most of it by getting your business’s current energy rating appraised and finding out where your building is losing heat to plug the gaps in a more cost-effective way.

Even if you’re not planning on re-plastering or re-rendering your walls a good builder should be able to add insulation with minimal disruption to the building.

3)     …then decorate them

You know that smell when you walk into a freshly-painted room?

Those noxious scents are unhealthy, often carbon emitting compounds being released into the atmosphere which will slowly continue to emit long after the smell dissipates.

Luckily there are now paints made with fewer Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) available in a similar range of prices and colours to conventional products.

You could even use organic materials to decorate your walls. Cork is an affordable, renewable material which is popular for wall murals and also provides high levels of sound absorption:

4)     Lighting

When you do need to switch the lights on, don’t forget to think green.

In terms of bulbs, CFL and LED are generally the frontrunners – but don’t forget to think about the fixtures themselves, too.

Look for lamps and fixtures made from natural materials like cloth or wood; or recycled ones like metal, glass or plastic. Traffic light covers and wine bottles make for really interesting pieces:

5)     Heating systems

When you’re refurbishing your work space it is well worth taking a look at your existing heating system.

A faulty or inadequate heating system is one of the main culprits of wasted energy and an increase in carbon emissions.

Consider installing a computerised system. These are proven to reduce energy bills as they use automated temperature monitors and software which control radiators to maintain a moderate temperature throughout the building.

6)     Flooring

Your flooring, particularly carpets and rugs, may also be releasing VOC carbon gases into the air.

For a more natural alternative, consider wool or P.E.T Berber Carpets; other eco-friendly options include cork, bamboo, linoleum (not to be confused with vinyl), reclaimed hardwood and salvaged wood.

For a more unusual option, however, you might wish to opt for recycled glass, recycled rubber tyres – or even simply polish the concrete under your current flooring.

7)     Furnishings

Now for the fun (and easiest) part; sourcing your new tables, desks, chairs, pictures, ornaments, coat racks, hat stands and whatever else comes to mind.

The greenest option is of course to reuse everything you have, upcycling wherever possible, or source upcycled and vintage pieces for a truly eclectic look.

While this option may be great for a quirky hotel, salon or office, sometimes you need something a little more professional.

Luckily there are a rapidly growing number of innovative companies who are manufacturing sustainable or recycled products which turn the “tree hugger” stereotype on its head with modern, slick designs:

8)     Take advantage of eco grants

Successfully giving your work space an environment- and purse-friendly makeover requires thorough research, proper planning and weighing up every option.

It’s true that you will see very little change in your energy bills following an eco-friendly upgrade.

That said, the government has international and European emissions targets it has to reach and this is great news for business owners.

To have any hope of reducing the UK’s carbon emissions to acceptable levels the government is providing businesses with funding for eco-friendly implementations through a variety of initiatives.

One example of this is the Green Deal, who say that the expected financial savings from a green investment “must be equal to or greater than the costs attached to the energy bill”.

And of course once the repayment term is complete you get to enjoy the full benefits of your investment; like earning money back from the national grid should you install things like solar panels – so that ultimately both you and the planet win.

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8 Ways To Make Your Next Refurb Greener

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