Taras Verkhoglyad
Sales Development Representative, Arloid Automation

Sustainable Coworking Spaces – 6 Ways Shared Offices Can Improve Energy Efficiency

Flexible, adaptable, and collaborative, coworking spaces provide numerous benefits to businesses, and are becoming increasingly widespread. With the traditional office losing its primacy in our working lives, and more and more of us seeking flexible working arrangements, coworking spaces are here to stay. But, if these spaces represent the future of work, we need to make sure they are sustainable, resourceful, and energy efficient.

In this guide, the energy experts at Arloid discuss the concept of the sustainable coworking space and provide 6 easy ways to boost the energy efficiency of yours.

What is a Sustainable Coworking Space?

A coworking space (also known as flexi-space or shared office space) is a popular alternative to the conventional office setup where one company uses the space in its entirety. Instead, this highly economical arrangement involves multiple different companies or self-employed individuals carrying out their activities in the same building, and sharing the use of equipment, utilities, and amenities.

When a coworking space is described as sustainable, this means it carefully controls its impact on the environment through the implementation of a range of different strategies. These might include waste reduction and recycling, own power generation, carbon offsetting, and improvements to the building’s energy efficiency.

Benefits of Sustainable Coworking Spaces

Taking steps to improve the sustainability of your coworking space provides numerous benefits to building occupants, building managers, and employers alike. They include:

  • Lower utility bills through better energy efficiency.
  • A competitive advantage when it comes to attracting green businesses to your space.
  • Better cohesion in the workplace through shared mission.
  • Making progress towards achieving your environmental goals.
  • Improved occupant comfort and therefore productivity through efficient HVAC use.

Energy Consumption in Coworking Spaces

Coworking spaces pose a number of challenges when it comes to energy efficiency. For one, occupancy is less predictable and pattern-led than a traditional office setup, making it harder to identify times where equipment, lighting, and heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) infrastructure can be powered down to conserve energy. More than that, these spaces tend to be open plan, making the zoning of a space for effective thermal control more difficult.

Finally, coworking spaces by their nature comprise many different groups all working in the same space – and each person may have their own individual expectations, preferences, and behaviours when it comes to energy use. Devising an energy strategy that pleases all members is not a simple task; however, it’s critical to the success of the space.

Learn more: Top 5 Energy Saving Tips for Your Building

6 Ways Shared Offices Can Improve Energy Efficiency

If you manage a coworking space and are looking to improve its sustainability, energy efficiency is an important area to target your attention. Here are some great measures you could look to implement.

Improve Insulation

Reducing heat loss and gain is integral to a building’s efficient use of energy. If your building is suffering from a lack of adequate insulation, taking steps to address this can offer significant improvements to its thermal behaviour. From insulating pipework to installing double glazing to retrofitting insulation in cavities and roof spaces, there are plenty of ways to combat this issue. The result? A building that maintains a more balanced and comfortable internal temperature, even if conditions outside fluctuate.

Use Passive Methods of Heat Control

To extend the previous point, there are numerous ways in which you could look to control the temperature of your space passively; that is, without relying solely on HVAC. For instance, blinds could be installed at all windows to allow occupants to block the sun on hot days, reducing heat gain and the energy required by HVAC to restore comfortable temperatures. You could also look to install passive heat protection devices on the outside of the building such as fixed or movable awnings and solar shades.

Upgrade Lighting

Good office lighting is vital for making sure everyone can work at optimum productivity, with cool colour temperatures believed to be better for concentration. However, office lighting consumes a vast amount of energy and is a significant contributor to the space’s overall energy spend. The good news is that immediate energy savings can be made by opting for LEDs over traditional bulbs.

Keep Up with Maintenance

All office equipment should receive regular maintenance and servicing to keep everything operating at peak efficiency. Doing so means identifying issues before they become a problem, reducing the risk of major failures or breakdowns – which will be extremely disruptive to tenants. It also means saving energy. Even just regularly cleaning HVAC air ducts and vents is estimated to improve efficiency by up to 60%!

Implement Smart Technology

The use of smart technology is becoming more and more popular across the built environment, and it has plenty to offer coworking spaces in particular. The adoption of smart technology like AI will make your building more intelligent and improve the resourcefulness of its operations. HVAC systems in particular can benefit from the implementation of AI, with energy savings of 30% possible within just 60 days.

Learn more about AI technology >

Switch Off

Finally, raise awareness for the importance of energy efficiency by educating everyone on the reasons behind the improvements. You could run a switch off campaign where you encourage all tenants to turn off equipment when not in use, and lights when leaving a room. Helping everyone understand the carbon footprint of the space and what they can all do to be more sustainable will create a cohesive and motivated working environment, united by a common goal.

Create an Energy Efficient Coworking Space with Cutting-Edge AI

If you’re looking for an easy way to improve the energy efficiency of your shared office or coworking space, Arloid can help you achieve 30% reductions with zero capital investment all thanks to innovative AI. In just 60 days, you could be benefiting from a reduced carbon footprint, lower utility bills, and better tenant comfort.

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