25 January 2024

Hållbar Interiör has compiled a list of four tips on what should be prioritized when carrying out interior projects in your office. By choosing the right location, managing a well-established interior concept, maintaining an up-to-date inventory of existing furnishings, and investing in reuse, repair, and reconditioning, we can save both the climate and the wallet.

“The design of interiors affects what we can do in the space and how we interact with it. Designing an interior is creating an experience that can have a significant impact on comfort, well-being, and ergonomics for those who spend time there. It is, therefore, important that we as interior architects prioritize high quality. A well-established interior design concept is based on the core values of the business, detached from trends, and instead, something that stands the test of time.” says interior architect Therese Löwstedt.

“The new premises were not used as planned due to changed work methods and increased remote work. We conducted a comprehensive inventory of all furnishings and were then able to make a significant reorganization with relatively simple means, without having to make any major additional orders for new furnishings,” says interior architect Marie Lindblad.

  • RIGHT LOCATION

– Consider the size, natural light, and layout of the location to ensure that it meets your needs regarding functions, flows, and ergonomics optimally.

Choose the right location from the start. By doing so, you can ensure the reuse of both layout and surface materials, thus avoiding major renovations that have a significant impact on the climate. Analyze the needs and functions that are especially important for your business, both currently and in the future. It is crucial to think long-term to avoid future renovations. An analysis can also provide an understanding of whether the premises are used efficiently. There might be areas that can be improved or rented out to someone else if not needed. The premises need to allow for some flexibility as the needs of the business change. A practical approach to this is to test if several different furniture arrangements are possible without the need for major renovations in the design phase.

  • INTERIOR DESIGN AND MANAGEMENT

– Work based on an interior design concept and prioritise setting up a maintenance file for the furniture.

It is a common belief that interior furnishings should be replaced regularly. In recent decades, we have witnessed how trends change at an ever-faster pace. Lease agreements are becoming shorter and reflect the decreasing lifespan of interiors. A well-established interior design concept simplifies future additions and counteracts the culture of disposable furnishings. “The design of interiors affects what we can do in the space and how we interact with it. Designing an interior is creating an experience that can have a significant impact on comfort. It influences the well-being and ergonomics for those who spend time there. It is, therefore, important that we as interior architects prioritize high quality. A well-established interior design concept is based on the core values of the business, detached from trends, and instead, something that stands the test of time.” says interior architect Therese Löwstedt. Another crucial aspect of extending the lifespan of interiors is the management basis. It may include information about the planned lifespan, maintenance, repair, and replacement of parts. By understanding the importance of care and preservation, interiors can be managed sustainably. They will have a longer lifespan, resulting in savings for both the environment and the budget.

  • INVENTORY

– Maintain an up-to-date inventory list covering all furnishings, including everything from furniture to textile decorations, detailing information about the product, quantity, and locations.

A clear overview of furniture types, locations, and specifications allows straightforward, extensive rearrangements. Simplifying changes becomes achievable. An updated inventory list is a crucial tool for a business to make long-term plans for refurbishment, purchases, and disposals.

Marie Lindblad, an interior architect at Indicum Inredningsarkitekter, shares her experiences with the inventory at the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency where new needs arose due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “The new premises were not used as planned due to changed work methods and increased remote work. We conducted a comprehensive inventory of all furnishings and were then able to make a significant reorganization with relatively simple means, without having to make any major additional orders for new furnishings,” Marie explains.

  • REUSE, REPAIR, AND RECONDITIONING

– Reuse existing furnishings in their current condition, conduct repairs, and refurbish worn-out furniture or decor that needs updating with a new color to harmonize with the agreed-upon interior design concept.

Most of a furniture’s carbon footprint stems from raw materials and production of the furniture itself. Transport, reconditioning and disposal account for only a small part of the total emissions. Therefore, reusing more is a crucial aspect. For those looking to reduce their carbon footprint and to limit the amount of waste, avoiding contributing to the overuse of Earth’s resources. Work according to a waste hierarchy. Prioritize reuse in its current state, followed by renovation or reconditioning, and, as a last resort, choose new production. If additional furnishings are needed, several providers today specialize in used office furniture. They sell to both private companies and public institutions through framework agreements available for municipalities, regions, and state organizations. Keep in mind that you can also contact them to sell furniture you no longer need. It will allow someone else to use it instead of ending up in a landfill.

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