In 15 years we will be consuming twice the amount of power as we are today – unless we act now. With commercial construction being responsible for 40% of the world’s energy demands, it’s the best place to begin making that change. Sustainable construction is no longer a luxury; it’s a necessity.
New methods and materials have emerged that could reduce the impact that traditional construction methods have on the planet. However, the industry is slow to change and many people don’t fully understand the benefits of using ethical construction practices. We are on a mission to demonstrate that eco-friendly design and construction can reduce the cost of build projects, lower running fees and still result in aesthetically stunning, functional commercial interiors.
So what does sustainable building and design look like? Maple People are leading the way with an innovative approach to the design and build of commercial interiors. We use a number of ethical design-and-build practices and we invest our profits into research and development. If you choose us to carry out your Cat A or B fit-out, here are some of the techniques you can expect to see us put into practice.
“After spending more than a decade working my way around the construction industry and seeing many opportunities to improve wasted, I started Maple People. It is only through mine and my company’s own actions to take that brave step and lead by example towards throwing away the rule book and starting over that we will significantly accelerate the move towards sustainable construction.”
Saj Rahman, Founder of Maple People
Sustainable building materials
Many office fit-outs begin with the removal and subsequent destruction or disposal of existing materials that are in the space. This can include fixtures, fittings and furniture, all of which goes to waste. Often, very similar items to those that have been removed are built and installed in the space. Maple People are embarking on a design process that looks at the materials left inside the spaces we aim to transform, to explore how we can reuse and upcycle them. We also use reclaimed wood, rather than specifying new products that need to be made with MDF and finished to look like natural wood products.
Sustainable office design
Traditional design methodologies have become more complex than they need to be. These complexities result in a lot of material waste, as items are cut to size on site, with the leftovers going to waste. At Maple People we believe that the common-sense approach of using generic sizes has been forgotten, which compounds this problem. We are creating an in-house design guide that details the carbon count of each and every material we use, keeping sustainability at the forefront of our minds and helping us educate our customers about the use of low-carbon materials.
The benefits of sustainable construction
The benefits to the client include budget-saving reductions in the time taken to prepare the space for the construction process, as well as the time required for designing and building bespoke new items. These processes also reduce the energy required to build and maintain the spaces, as well as benefit the environment by reusing and recycling instead of taking more raw materials, and also reducing the amount of waste generated during the project.
It’s a win-win situation, and with our keen eye for design you can count on an aesthetically pleasing, future-proof and eco-friendly office design without blowing the budget.
The bigger picture: sustainable construction resources
It’s not just the perfectly functional fixtures, fittings and furniture in the spaces we transform that could become a part of the sustainable construction ecosystem. Across the country there is office glass, furniture and fittings such as doors that are all perfectly usable, all being thrown away in order to keep to tight deadlines, please the customer and for the designer to feed their ego. Part of the bigger plan for Maple People is to seek funding for major rethink of how we can better recycle and upcycle.
The future of construction is ethical and sustainable
We simply have no choice but to incorporate sustainable practices into every stage of the design-and-build process if we are to continue creating spaces for work at the rate we need to. While the industry itself is slow, each of us – customers and construction companies – has a role to play. Money talks; next time you need to hire someone for a Cat A fit-out, will your choice of construction partner speak volumes about the importance of saving the world?
“We MUST start this journey today, otherwise the children of this generation will face a new world of energy shortages, pollution, global warming and a depletion of natural resources – is that what we want? Do we want to tell our children that we knew about it, yet we were too busy trying to do things quickly and on the cheap to consider the long-term damage?”Saj Rahman, Founder of Maple People
If you are inspired to support sustainable design and either have the skills we are looking for, or a project that needs Maple People’s special expertise, please get in touch. We’d love to hear from you.