Sustainability in construction is increasingly important in Australia. Our booming construction industry produces a huge amount of waste every year. What’s more, the industry uses a wealth of natural resources to produce new building materials. Without these materials, like tiles, floor finishes, bricks, piping, and everything else, construction cannot take place.
This is where recycled and recyclable building materials are so important.
At Niche Projects, we’ve built offices for many commercial businesses, all over Sydney. We understand the industry, and that includes the importance of sustainable practices during the office design and fitout process. This is exactly why we aim to use as many recycled materials as possible when completing a fresh office fitout in Sydney.
Below, we’ll take a closer look at recycled materials and the part they can play in office construction.
What makes a sustainable Sydney office fitout?
The term ‘sustainable’ is very broad. In essence, it means a practice that has less of a negative impact on the environment. This includes using less energy and water, fewer natural resources like wood and stone, and being more responsible with waste practices. Therefore, a sustainable office fitout means one that conserves resources.
Making use of recycled materials in an office fitout is a great way to reduce our impact on the environment. And the availability of recycled materials has never been better. Highly recyclable materials should also be prioritised, because they can be reused when you decide to refurbish your office again in the future.
The bottom line is that an office fitout that requires fewer virgin materials, and results in less waste, is a much better result for the environment.
Recycled materials in office design and construction
There is a wide range of materials that can be recycled and reused in the construction industry. Many of them are naturally occurring materials, but others like plastics and metals, can also be recycled and reused. We’ll take a closer look below.
Wood is used on virtually every single construction project… office fitouts included! It’s an incredibly versatile building material, affordable, and trees are relatively easy to grow. This is even more true when it comes to specific types of timber like bamboo. Whether you are using wood for your floors, walls, or decorative flair, it’s a great option.
Recycled timber can come in a few forms. It can be decorative, say for partitions, staircases, or floors. This is often the case with older hardwood, which suits an industrial-style office. It can also be completely recycled, broken down, and manufactured into flooring, as is the case with bamboo.
The recycled timber in your office fitout might even take the form of furniture. If you’re able to integrate recycled tables, desks, chairs and other items, you’ll be having a much more positive impact on the environment, and the construction materials industry.
Plastic is a double-edged sword. On one hand, it’s an incredibly dynamic material and has a limitless range of uses. Many plastics are also highly recyclable, as long as they are collected and processed properly. Unfortunately, as we all know, that’s not often the case. This is where the sharp edge is present – plastic pollution.
However, when it is recycled, plastic can be reused in a wide range of ways, including in construction materials. When it comes to a sustainable Sydney office fitout, recycled plastics may be present in your carpet, your ceiling tiles, or even the tiles in your office bathrooms. Making use of these plastics is a great way to have a more positive impact on the environment.
Like plastics, most metals are also quite recyclable. In fact, recycled metals are almost always as strong as newly minted materials. When it comes to recycled metal products in an office fitout, you can find shelving and storage options, furniture, and a range of finishes and fixtures for kitchens and bathrooms. Making use of this recycled metal means new resources do not have to be extracted from the earth to manufacture virgin metals.
Gypsum is the naturally occurring material used to make plaster and drywall. The great news about gypsum is that it is completely recyclable. There are a number of facilities that collect gypsum from building sites and construction companies. They then recycle the used plasterboard into brand new sheets, ready for use in new projects, like your office fitout.
What are the benefits of using recycled materials for your office fitout?
Using recycled materials in an office fitout comes with a wealth of benefits. We’ll take a closer look at some of those benefits below.
Reduce your carbon footprint
The main benefit of using recycled materials is that you’re reducing your carbon footprint. The process becomes much more environmentally friendly when there’s no need to take resources from the earth for manufacturing. While recycling does generate some carbon emissions, it’s much more sustainable to recycle materials and place them back in the production stream.
Recycled materials are often more affordable than those made from virgin resources. This means your company can spend more money on its office fitout in Sydney, creating a more modern workspace. You can even spend some of those savings on better quality furniture for your employees.
Research shows that employees who work in an office that prioritises sustainability are happier than those who don’t. Therefore, your employees are likely to enjoy an increased level of relaxation and higher productivity, if your office fitout has a marked use of recycled materials. Working with employees to get feedback on the kinds of materials they want to see in your new workspace is also an effective way to ensure they are happy.
Lead the way
There’s a good chance that your competitors aren’t as green as you, if you’re making use of recycled materials in your Sydney office fitout. Many clients and customers do choose to give their business to organisations that make an effort to be more environmentally friendly. Therefore, an office visibly manufactured with recycled materials goes a long way towards impressing clients, customers, and even stakeholders.
Sustainable Sydney office fitout
Looking for a sustainable office fitout in Sydney? Niche Projects has you covered. We craft exceptional workplaces of all shapes and sizes for businesses in Sydney. Our design professionals and in-house trades are second to none, and our quality of work is unrivalled.
Get in touch with us today, we’d love to discuss your vision.