We are excited to announce that our design for the refurbishment of the Brisbane Markets Fresh Centre (pictured above) was awarded the Queensland Master Builder’s (QMBA) Brisbane Regional Award for Excellence in Sustainable Building. The end result is a first class, light filled conversion of a banana sorting factory into offices, retail spaces and hi-tech food training areas.
As Interior Designers we are always looking for ways to reduce the impact of our designs on the environment. This is done through process, research and implementation of innovative or tried and true practices.
We recognize that applying Environmentally Sustainable Design (ESD) principles to our designs results in superior working environments that reduce business operation costs and improve the quality of life for their occupants. This in turn translates to an increased return on investment for the fit-out cost to our client’s.
Like the Brisbane Markets Fresh Centre, many of our projects involve existing buildings. Our challenge is to maximize the quality of the internal environment. Our approach of utilising passive design strategies to achieve this targets the following key areas:
Passive Design Strategies
- Maximise the orientation of workspaces to natural daylight
- Consider solar gain and the potential for natural ventilation
- Ensure an efficient layout that positions facilities such that they are readily accessible
- Provide access to views for staff and relaxation areas where possible
- Design for flexibility and adaptability of spaces
- Re-use, re-finish or re-configure where possible in the construction process
- Promote the recycling of waste materials where possible
Environmentally Friendly Material Selection
Humankind is depleting many of the natural resources our planet offers. The construction industry is a major culprit in this regard, however manufacturers of materials are stepping up to the plate to make their products more environmentally friendly. Recycled ingredients, eliminating harmful toxins and reusing or reclaiming materials are just a few of the ways they are doing this. When selecting materials and finishes we try to:
- Utilize local materials to minimize environmental impacts from transportation
- Utilise materials that improve the acoustic performance of spaces
- Consider long term maintenance and durability of all finishes selected
- Assess the selection of flooring finishes relative to economical lighting design
- Specify low VOC and formaldehyde emission products for internal finishes
- Promote the use of recycled materials where possible
- Ensure that products are sourced from environmentally sustainable supplies
Design for Energy and Water Efficiency
Incorporating energy and water efficient fixtures not only helps reduce your carbon footprint, it also reduces your running expenses every month. It’s a win-win as far as we’re concerned!
Constant innovations are being made in lighting technology, specifically energy efficient lighting. Working with professionals to design the lighting of your space is imperative to ensure an effective lighting scheme that meets current code requirements.
Design for Community
The important aspect of sustainability is an all encompassing one that includes supporting the communities you live in or that are close to you. In most cases you will not be able to source everything your project requires locally, however you may be surprised at the skill located just outside your door. Utilizing products from local artists and manufacturers is one way to give back your community and show appreciation for their talents. Locally sourced product also does not have to travel which cuts down on greenhouse gas emissions, not to mention delivery costs.
The sustainability movement has come a long way in the past 10 years and has a long way to go. The more we can educate our clients, families and friends about the sustainable options available to them, the further the movement will go. We hope that before too long, it will become standard industry practice.
Would you like your space to benefit your bottom line and the world around us? Call us, we're passionate about sustainable design that enhances our planet.