If you’re looking to start a service-based business and have a mind for both energy efficiency and eco-friendliness, then near the top of your list of priorities should be securing green office space. While we’re mostly familiar with the dead giveaways when it comes to evaluating the greenness of a particular space, there are subtle indicators of a property’s green status relative to other options. If you aren’t sure what to look for when scouting for green office space, use the following as a guide:
Windows that open: A common feature of modern office environments has been the complete sealing of windows in order to better control the internal climate. But the downside to this has been the complete reliance on heating and cooling for maintaining a desirable office temperature. To avoid such a dependence, stick to office spaces that include windows that can be opened. That way you can take advantage of fresh air as much as possible.
Close proximity to public transit: For the sake of reducing the amount of fuel you and your workers will burn through for your business to exist, opt for office space near bus lines or other forms of mass transit. Go the extra mile by encouraging your workers to use these means of transportation by providing them with monthly passes.
Natural sources of light: In addition to windows that can be opened, look for windows that get a strong exposure – mainly those that face east and west. This reduces your dependence on artificial light, which will lower energy costs as well the size of your company’s carbon footprint.
Shower facilities: It may sound a little silly, but on-site showers are critical in the promotion of a green corporate culture in that they encourage employees to ride bicycles into work. If they know they won’t have to sit at their desk drenched in sweat for the first five hours, your workers are certain to choose cycling instead of driving whenever possible.
Solar paneling: This is the one feature everyone looks for when scouting for green office locales. While not the end-all-be-all of what constitutes an environmentally sound office, solar panels are important and should certainly be something you look for in your potential office space. With that said, do the math before embracing extra rent on account of an office being solar powered. It’s good for Mother Nature in any case, but it may not always be optimum for your wallet.
A green (or white) roof: This one is a bit fun to do since it requires some spying via Google Maps. When you get the address of a potential spot, plug it into Google Maps and zoom in to get a glimpse as to whether or not green roofing materials were used. A “green” roof, while most commonly appearing white, is one of the easiest ways to reduce energy usage in a large complex. If the owners of an office building haven’t taken this step, you can safely say it isn’t the location that’s right for you.
When looking for green office space to place your new company, don’t just settle on whatever a realtor wants to tell you or give into charming copy. Go to these locations and see for yourself whether or not they’re “up to code” as far as going green is concerned. That way you can be assured that your efforts to create an eco-friendly business are not in vain.