Creativity in Design of Green Workplaces
Creativity in office design has been enhanced through the introduction of the Green design focus to ensure sustainability of the building. This includes designing buildings to minimize the environmental footprint and to provide for the health and wellbeing of the occupants. In relation to office workplaces the change has been significant as the focus has been on the functions that are undertaken and designing creative settings to provide for the workers. This has seen a reduction in the number of workstations and greater use of collaboration spaces. These include large tables for teams to work together, break out areas with booths and comfortable seating for small group discussions, work areas with acoustic screens around the work points for focussed concentration tasks, meeting rooms of various sizes with video conferencing as well as designated areas for socializing and meeting other workers from the company. The green environment also utilizes plants and colours to enhance the workplace for the workers. This move to the green workplace is enabled by greater use of hand held or mobile technology rather than workstation based personal computers. With high speed internet connectivity the worker is able to access their computer files anywhere in the building and in any of the work settings provided. This requires the company to move to a digitized information management system and away from paper file based systems. The creativity in design enables a wide range of work settings to encourage dynamic work. This includes workstations and meeting tables that are at standing height or that can be easily adjusted with an electric motor or hydraulic system between sitting and standing heights. The introduction of the green work environment requires a culture that encourages workers to move around to achieve the associated health and wellbeing benefits. Creativity is evident in the design of the collaboration and break out settings. The lounge style chairs and couches as well as the booths encourage workers to relax as they interact. The break out areas also involve standing only tables for short term meetings. These spaces results in less reliance on meeting rooms for small group discussions. The requirement for private spaces for telephone calls can be met with phone booths or small spaces where calls can be made without being over heard by others. The green environment requires careful planning to meet the needs of clients visiting the office and to ensure that any staff or visitor with special needs can be accommodated. The green environment also addresses greater utilization of natural light through the windows and less reliance on overhead lighting when it is not required. Window treatments and blinds are essential to control excessive window light during direct sunlight periods. It also involves a layout of the work areas to minimize noise disruption particularly in areas where staff need to concentrate. These changes in the work environment has addressed ergonomics with the physical, cognitive and psychosocial benefits.
KeywordsCreativity Green design Workplaces
- Green Building Council of Australia (2018) Greenstar requirements. www.gbca.org.au/green-star