Green Home Improvement Projects

Going green can be done in various ways. You can recycle old plastic bottles, refurbish old furniture, etc. But here are some other ways you can spruce up your home while caring for the environment. Make neighbours turn green with envy with these practical, sustainable upgrades.Green Home Improvement

Make a Rain Garden

Most people wouldn’t have guessed a garden can be more environmentally friendly. Well, it can! Here’s how: Since rainwater picks up pollutants, such as oil, salts, and fertilisers, that go down the drains and into bodies of water, you can retain the rainwater in your garden by arranging your plants in a shallow depression. This way, you help reduce soil erosion, decrease the chance of flooding, and improve water quality.

Go Solar!

Ever heard of passive solar design? Well, in a nutshell, it is the method using interior wall and ceiling materials that soak up the sun’s heat during the day and release it at night, keeping your home more comfortable. Such materials include concrete, brick, and plaster. You can use these to remodel walls that face the area where the sun stays most during daytime. Or, if it’s too much of a fuss or is out of budget, you can always beef up your home’s insulation.

Opt for Reclaimed Floors

When your floors are in dire need for replacement, you can shift to reclaimed wood. They are durable, versatile, and most importantly, sustainable. Not only that, they are also free of harmful VOCs and formaldehyde, so no worries about your family’s health.

Chameleon Roofs

These innovative roof tiles have colour-changing features that allow them to turn light or dark depending on the outside temperature. In fact, black colours absorb heat, while light shades deflect it. Which is why chameleon-like roofs can help stabilise your indoor temperature, reducing your heating and cooling systems’ work—and your energy bills!

Green Trends in Office Design

Green Trends in Office Design

Much to the relief of the environmentally conscious, we are seeing more in the way of green trends in office design over the years and 2016 is shaping up to be a big year in this regard with some impressive projects due to be unveiled very soon. For those who’d like to apply green trends to their own workspace, there are some excellent trends to take note of, moreover many green office trends don’t only benefit the environment but also help to reduce financial overheads, enhance workplace performance and make life at work more enjoyable for all.

Sustainability

Perhaps the most easy green office trend to apply in the workplace, sustainable office practices, like using less paper and restricting paper usage to recycled paper, is a great place to start applying green trends in the workplace. This also involves reducing energy usage, particularly energy wastage, using local materials over those sourced from afar, and adding natural elements to the office. Sustainability trends can also be applied to office design and office layouts, for example making the most of natural lighting, a great way to reduce lighting costs while enjoying natural light, which is far better for your health than artificial lighting.

Open plan layouts

Not only do open plan layouts foster creativity and enhance workplace productivity, but they’re also more energy efficient because they require less lighting, less air conditioning and less heating. Just think about all those doors and walls that separate workers from each other, not to mention a light in each office and in many cases, an air conditioning duct or unit in each office and a heater too. Working in an open plan office enables businesses to do away with excessive lighting, air conditioning and heating units, which results in reduced overheads and a healthier bottom line. Furthermore, they also reduce the amount of office space that companies need to work out of so they also help to reduce the overheads of hiring office space. Serviced offices and related office products, which can be viewed on websites such as regus.com, are usually available in open layout plans, and if a combination is required, for example some businesses require an office for private meetings and therefore look for combination of open and traditional plan layouts, this can be arranged also.

What is LEED?

LEED, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Development, is a voluntary rating system that is internationally recognized and provides third-party verification of green buildings around the world. LEED certification is available for all types of buildings but the criteria differs from one market segment to another, for example an office is unlike a school and a school is unlike a factory. To earn LEED certification all prerequisites must be satisfied and the applicant must earn a minimum of 40 out of a maximum of 110 on the LEED rating scale. The five main categories in which prerequisites must be satisfied include: energy and atmosphere, indoor environmental quality, materials and resources, sustainable sites and water efficiency.

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