Sustainable Design is in the Details  

 In today’s business landscape, environmentally designed workspaces are quickly becoming the norm as younger generations step into more managerial roles and begin to transform the business environment to align with their personal ideologies. And what’s often a top priority for our next generation of executives? You’ve got it – green initiatives.

For interior designers, project managers or business leaders looking to stay ahead of the curve and help grow their brand, reputation and bottom line through sustainability, here are some simple tips to consider:

 Integrate Sustainable Wood

 The Australian Government has implemented a Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC), Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and Australian Forest Standard (AFS) to ensure true sustainable forest management practices to protect the 400,000 hectares of Australian forests.

When considering wood based furniture like desking or common room tables, opting for FSC or AFS certified products ensures you are sourcing your design solutions from a sustainably managed forest. Now that’s a breath of fresh air!

Choose Furniture Solutions with Low VOC Foam

What are VOCs? Good question! Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are a family of harmful which can be released into indoor air from a number of sources, including workplace furniture (flame retardants and formaldehyde being quite common). While some VOCs are more toxic than others, the health risks associated will depend on the levels you are exposed to, the length of time you are exposed, and your individual sensitivity to toxicity.

Considering the fact that the workplace has become a second home to employees and executive’s alike, introducing low VOC furniture into your workspace will be an instrumental step towards driving a greener and healthier work environment.

Martindale Count

The Martindale test is a measure of the durability of a fabric. The tests are undertaken on upholstery fabrics to check their suitability for various uses – whether this be to ensure longevity for your home or small-business or commercial furniture solutions. The test is also known as the ‘rub test’ and essentially tests for abrasion resistance.

Essentially, the Martindale test involves rubbing a piece of worsted wool cloth in a circular motion on a flat mounted fabric sample. The number of cycles the test fabric can withstand before showing a change in appearance (such as thread breakage or pilling) is its abrasion rating. At the beginning of the test checks are made every 1,000 cycles, and if no wear is apparent, the fabric is put through another 1,000 rub cycle, and so forth. Here is a basic breakdown of what the Martindale count means in terms of the durability of your furniture solutions:

  • Light use: 6000 – 9000 double rubs
  • Medium use: 9000 – 30,000 double rubs
  • Heavy use: 30,000+ double rubs

Depending on your design needs, a high Martindale count can go a long way in reducing your environmental impact and getting the most out of your budget.

Whether you are own and operate a small business, or manage a major enterprise operation – supporting green initiatives is easier than you think. All it takes is a little information, and a firm commitment to growing a healthier planet, by building a sustainable workplace.

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New Product Release: FUNHOUSE OTTOMAN

Funhouse hails from the LuxStudio team. These ottomans are light weight and versatile. The simple shapes combined with carefully stitched lining bring out the best of chosen fabric textures and colours.

Get to know the new collection in our TestFit app which includes the ottomans in a variety of our house fabric colours.

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Workplace Design With the Environment in Mind

Workplace design is one of the most influential tools which can be used to help achieve business goals. The power of space to influence our energy, interaction, health, and drive is tremendous.

Not surprisingly, when we discuss the workplace of the future – sustainable design tools, products and services are quickly identified innovative solutions to help organize and implement a new way of working – with increasingly positive results to an organization’s bottom line.

How exactly do environmentally conscious choices affect your business? We’re glad you asked!

Socially. 

Now that employees (and executives alike) are logging more hours at the office than ever before, they have become more immediately linked to the company they work for. For this reason, employees are more likely to enjoy more job satisfaction when they are working with an organization aligned to their own personal belief systems. Workplace sustainability instills a pride in the workforce and demonstrates an organization’s commitment to “walk the walk”.

Economically. 

Sustainable workplaces help to improve productivity, reduce operational costs (through energy cost savings), and eliminate waste (using renewable and recyclable materials while also integrating actual recycling programs).

Environmentally. 

Sustainable workplaces respect the planet. To ensure you are choosing design solutions that truly take environmental impact seriously, consider the following:

  • Shop Good Environmental Choice Australia (GECA) Certified

Good Environmental Choice Australia (GECA) runs Australia’s only independent, not-for-profit, multi-sector ecolabelling program. The organizations certification program has developed standards by which products and services are independently audited to ensure minimal environmental impact while also taking personal health and wellness, and social ramifications into consideration. By choosing GECA certified products, you are making socially and environmentally sustainable choices for your workplace that make a world of difference.

  • Do Good Business With ISO 14001 Certified Companies

ISO 14001 Environmental Management Systems (EMS) provide an integrated approach to environmental management. Put environmental management at the top of your sustainability goals in order to achieve success while reducing your environmental impact.

At the end of the day, sustainable design in the workplace – is just good business. It allows you to reduce costs, increase employee health and grow your business by building a reputation that positions you as a sustainability champion!

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Colour Your Workplace Happy

Choosing the perfect combination of hues for your workplace can be tricky, as the colours should take into account the personality of your organization, while also appealing to the majority of your employees and clients.

From an ergonomic standpoint, colour might not seem high on your priority list in ensuring employee comfort. In truth, colour is absolutely crucial in promoting a positive, inspiring work culture. Colours elicit emotional and physical responses from people who are exposed to them for extended periods of time. In general, there are two major colour families: warm and cool.

Warm colours include red, orange, yellow and pink and typically appeal to fewer people in a working environment. For instance, vibrant, colours like lime green, fire engine red or fuchsia are described as energetic, power colours — perfect a business thriving on the larger-than-life personalities it employs. Cool colours like blue, green and purple, instill feelings of relaxation and calmness and tend to appeal to a broader base. Cool colours also encourage focus and cause less eye strain, team members to work for longer periods comfortably.

The most commonly used colours for workplace environments, are neutral (black, white, grey and brown). While these might not seem like the most exciting choice, they work well in a professional environment because they have the widest appeal. To create a dynamic, engaging and inspiring work environment, integrate a neutral colour scheme that incorporates pops of warm and cool colours through statement furniture, wall art, area rugs and accent walls.

While workplace functionality often takes centre stage, as a project manager or interior designer, it’s also important to take colour into consideration whether you are creating a workspace from scratch or giving your business a facelift by integrating new design elements. After all, colour and thoughtfully designed spaces have the power to inspire creative, innovative ideas that drive growth and position your business for prosperity and success.

CP1 & R50