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Open Office Area

An open office area supports work productivity for groups of employees. Design this space to be flexible, allowing for quick transition from collaborative to individual setup. Optimize daylight and views, and avoid blocking views by using low cubicle dividers or dividers made of transparent material. Utilize occupancy sensors and zones for maximum efficiency of HVAC and lighting systems. Design HVAC systems to have multiple zones to increase thermal comfort, and consider using under floor air to provide occupant control of diffusers. Allow for task lights for all abilities and tasks. Support the type of work with active ergonomics. Pay careful attention to acoustics by selecting materials that absorb sound or installing a white noise system to limit noise levels from one work station to the next. View Planning Strategies

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  • Windows and Daylighting
  • Windows and Daylighting

    • Install double or triple paned glass to increase efficiency and reduce energy consumption.
    • Use interior light shelves to effectively distribute the natural light throughout a space.
    • Consider installing solar powered window shades or blinds to reduce glare and allow control of the daylight entering a space.

    Click Design Guidance to View Additional Green Tips

  • Flooring
  • Flooring

    • Dry vacuum regularly and follow with a wet vacuum water extraction machine when necessary to protect indoor air quality.
    • Evaluate sustainable attributes such as high recycled content and low VOC's to determine the most appropriate sustainable product for the space. Remember that adhesives may be required for flooring, and these may add VOC's even if the finish flooring does not.
    • Prevent stains by cleaning up spills promptly, starting with cold water and blotting cloths.

    Click Design Guidance to View Additional Green Tips

  • Furniture / Furnishings
  • Furniture / Furnishings

    • Use moveable, re-configurable furniture to maximizes functionality of space such as rolling/locking casters and moveable white boards.
    • Select ergonomically-designed furniture to provide maximum comfort and convenience for the occupants.
    • Use low-emitting furniture to protect indoor air quality.

    Click Design Guidance to View Additional Green Tips

  • Ceiling
  • Ceiling

    • Use acoustical ceiling tiles with high Noise Reduction Coefficients (NRC) to reduce noise pollution and allow for ease of access to the plenum space for maintenance.
    • Use light-colored ceiling tiles to reflect daylight to allow natural light to effectively move throughout the space.
    • Evaluate sustainable attributes such as regionally manufacturing, recycled content, and low VOC's to determine the most appropriate materials to use for a sustainable ceiling.

    Click Design Guidance to View Additional Green Tips

  • HVAC
  • HVAC

    • Design HVAC systems to have multiple zones, specifically near south and west facing facades to increase thermal comfort in areas with more severe temperature swings.
    • Install occupant control thermostats that have prescribed temperature range limits to promote occupant comfort.
    • Ensure the air supplied by the HVAC system is properly conditioned - providing comfortable temperature ranges, removing moisture and air contaminants such as odors, dust, and carbon dioxide. Proximity to an exterior wall should be evaluated to minimize ductwork.

    Click Design Guidance to View Additional Green Tips

  • Walls
  • Walls

    • Consider demountable walls or partitions that can be moved and altered to create different types of spaces to meet the needs of the occupants.
    • Select easy to clean wall surfaces for ease of maintenance.
    • Use low VOC wall finishes to protect indoor air quality.

    Click Design Guidance to View Additional Green Tips

  • Lighting
  • Lighting

    • Use daylight sensor controls that turn off electric lighting in response to natural light levels to reduce energy consumption. When used in combination with occupant sensors, a sustainable lighting control program can have significant benefits.
    • Use sustainable lighting practices such as occupant sensors to decrease utility costs. For open areas, sensors must be carefully placed to avoid overlap with neighboring areas.
    • Reduce lighting power density in open offices with an efficient layout of energy-efficient and high efficacy fixtures such as direct/indirect fluorescent and LEDs fixtures.

    Click Design Guidance to View Additional Green Tips

  • Furniture / Furnishings
  • Furniture / Furnishings

    • Use moveable, re-configurable furniture to maximizes functionality of space such as rolling/locking casters and moveable white boards.
    • Select ergonomically-designed furniture to provide maximum comfort and convenience for the occupants.
    • Use low-emitting furniture to protect indoor air quality.

    Click Design Guidance to View Additional Green Tips

  • Lighting
  • Lighting

    • Use daylight sensor controls that turn off electric lighting in response to natural light levels to reduce energy consumption. When used in combination with occupant sensors, a sustainable lighting control program can have significant benefits.
    • Use sustainable lighting practices such as occupant sensors to decrease utility costs. For open areas, sensors must be carefully placed to avoid overlap with neighboring areas.
    • Reduce lighting power density in open offices with an efficient layout of energy-efficient and high efficacy fixtures such as direct/indirect fluorescent and LEDs fixtures.

    Click Design Guidance to View Additional Green Tips

  • Ceiling
  • Ceiling

    • Use acoustical ceiling tiles with high Noise Reduction Coefficients (NRC) to reduce noise pollution and allow for ease of access to the plenum space for maintenance.
    • Use light-colored ceiling tiles to reflect daylight to allow natural light to effectively move throughout the space.
    • Evaluate sustainable attributes such as regionally manufacturing, recycled content, and low VOC's to determine the most appropriate materials to use for a sustainable ceiling.

    Click Design Guidance to View Additional Green Tips

  • Flooring
  • Flooring

    • Dry vacuum regularly and follow with a wet vacuum water extraction machine when necessary to protect indoor air quality.
    • Evaluate sustainable attributes such as high recycled content and low VOC's to determine the most appropriate sustainable product for the space. Remember that adhesives may be required for flooring, and these may add VOC's even if the finish flooring does not.
    • Prevent stains by cleaning up spills promptly, starting with cold water and blotting cloths.

    Click Design Guidance to View Additional Green Tips

  • Walls
  • Walls

    • Consider demountable walls or partitions that can be moved and altered to create different types of spaces to meet the needs of the occupants.
    • Select easy to clean wall surfaces for ease of maintenance.
    • Use low VOC wall finishes to protect indoor air quality.

    Click Design Guidance to View Additional Green Tips

  • Walls
  • Walls

    • Consider demountable walls or partitions that can be moved and altered to create different types of spaces to meet the needs of the occupants.
    • Select easy to clean wall surfaces for ease of maintenance.
    • Use low VOC wall finishes to protect indoor air quality.

    Click Design Guidance to View Additional Green Tips

  • Flooring
  • Flooring

    • Dry vacuum regularly and follow with a wet vacuum water extraction machine when necessary to protect indoor air quality.
    • Evaluate sustainable attributes such as high recycled content and low VOC's to determine the most appropriate sustainable product for the space. Remember that adhesives may be required for flooring, and these may add VOC's even if the finish flooring does not.
    • Prevent stains by cleaning up spills promptly, starting with cold water and blotting cloths.

    Click Design Guidance to View Additional Green Tips

  • Furniture / Furnishings
  • Furniture / Furnishings

    • Use moveable, re-configurable furniture to maximizes functionality of space such as rolling/locking casters and moveable white boards.
    • Select ergonomically-designed furniture to provide maximum comfort and convenience for the occupants.
    • Use low-emitting furniture to protect indoor air quality.

    Click Design Guidance to View Additional Green Tips

  • HVAC
  • HVAC

    • Design HVAC systems to have multiple zones, specifically near south and west facing facades to increase thermal comfort in areas with more severe temperature swings.
    • Install occupant control thermostats that have prescribed temperature range limits to promote occupant comfort.
    • Ensure the air supplied by the HVAC system is properly conditioned - providing comfortable temperature ranges, removing moisture and air contaminants such as odors, dust, and carbon dioxide. Proximity to an exterior wall should be evaluated to minimize ductwork.

    Click Design Guidance to View Additional Green Tips

  • Windows and Daylighting
  • Windows and Daylighting

    • Install double or triple paned glass to increase efficiency and reduce energy consumption.
    • Use interior light shelves to effectively distribute the natural light throughout a space.
    • Consider installing solar powered window shades or blinds to reduce glare and allow control of the daylight entering a space.

    Click Design Guidance to View Additional Green Tips

  • Flooring
  • Flooring

    • Dry vacuum regularly and follow with a wet vacuum water extraction machine when necessary to protect indoor air quality.
    • Evaluate sustainable attributes such as high recycled content and low VOC's to determine the most appropriate sustainable product for the space. Remember that adhesives may be required for flooring, and these may add VOC's even if the finish flooring does not.
    • Prevent stains by cleaning up spills promptly, starting with cold water and blotting cloths.

    Click Design Guidance to View Additional Green Tips

  • Walls
  • Walls

    • Consider demountable walls or partitions that can be moved and altered to create different types of spaces to meet the needs of the occupants.
    • Select easy to clean wall surfaces for ease of maintenance.
    • Use low VOC wall finishes to protect indoor air quality.

    Click Design Guidance to View Additional Green Tips

  • HVAC
  • HVAC

    • Design HVAC systems to have multiple zones, specifically near south and west facing facades to increase thermal comfort in areas with more severe temperature swings.
    • Install occupant control thermostats that have prescribed temperature range limits to promote occupant comfort.
    • Ensure the air supplied by the HVAC system is properly conditioned - providing comfortable temperature ranges, removing moisture and air contaminants such as odors, dust, and carbon dioxide. Proximity to an exterior wall should be evaluated to minimize ductwork.

    Click Design Guidance to View Additional Green Tips

  • Furniture / Furnishings
  • Furniture / Furnishings

    • Use moveable, re-configurable furniture to maximizes functionality of space such as rolling/locking casters and moveable white boards.
    • Select ergonomically-designed furniture to provide maximum comfort and convenience for the occupants.
    • Use low-emitting furniture to protect indoor air quality.

    Click Design Guidance to View Additional Green Tips

  • Windows and Daylighting
  • Windows and Daylighting

    • Install double or triple paned glass to increase efficiency and reduce energy consumption.
    • Use interior light shelves to effectively distribute the natural light throughout a space.
    • Consider installing solar powered window shades or blinds to reduce glare and allow control of the daylight entering a space.

    Click Design Guidance to View Additional Green Tips