Melbourne is known as a city of progressive design and style. Melbourne is taking the lead in designing sustainable office fit outs that not only look like the epitome of Melbourne style, but also make businesses more attractive to customers and prospective employees, and deliver significant ongoing economic savings to the business. A sustainable office fit out design takes account of the environmental impact of the materials used, maximises the use of natural light, and maximises water and energy savings. These office design choices can have far reaching business benefits, now and into the future – as well as having a positive benefit for the planet. Research has found that natural elements in commercial offices contribute to increased wellbeing amongst employees, as well as creativity and productivity. A sustainable office design  fit out uses plants and natural light, as well as cuing nature in the choice of materials, colours and patterns. The value of a sustainable office design fit out for a business includes:

  • Lower operating costs through reduced energy and water use
  • Increased asset value
  • Increased productivity
  • Decreased sickness
  • Improved business image

How sustainable is a standard office fit out?

The built environment is the largest contributor to greenhouse gas, consumes one third of all water and produces 40% of waste. In a recent survey of Australian offices, it was found that half had no natural light, 28% had no windows and 65% had no plants.

What are the office fit out costs of a sustainable design?

It’s often assumed that caring for the environment and making ‘green’ choices are expensive. However, making a choice to opt for sustainable elements in an office fit out design, has been found to be comparable with standard office fit out costs. The great advantage is that a sustainable office fit out provides ongoing economic savings. The typical cost of an office fit out is between $1000 and $1600m2. Some examples of sustainable fit outs completed in Melbourne offices have been costed within this standard range.

What are the elements of sustainable design?

Sustainable design decisions need to be made at the moment of design and include things such as energy and water consumption, technology, indoor air quality, waste management and the sustainability of materials and furniture. Fit out projects in Melbourne are uniquely placed with access to sustainable materials and suppliers. Below are some examples of where sustainable choices can be made in an office fit out design.

Selection of Materials

The choice of building materials and furniture has a significant impact on the environment, health and can deliver savings. Choose materials and paints that have reduced volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can cause air pollution, headaches and respiratory conditions. Look for materials that are produced by sustainably certified businesses, have a long life span, and are made from recyclable materials. Where possible re use furniture that still serves its purpose.


A sustainable office fit out design will consider air quality in an office and where possible will optimise the amount of fresh air circulating in a building through open windows and designs that take advantage of cross ventilation.


Significant savings can be made to energy use through the use of blade servers and transitioning away from desktop computers to laptop use.

Sustainable lighting

An average commercial office consumes 15 – 26% of its energy in lighting. Sustainable lighting design in office fit outs includes maximising where possible the use of natural light. Combining managed lighting systems that are responsive to daylight and movement, reducing unnecessary overhead lighting, introducing task lighting, and using energy efficient light fittings, can significantly reduce energy costs.


A sustainable office fit out design reduces as much as possible the amount of waste produced during the construction of the project by re using materials, avoiding excess materials and disposing of waste responsibly. To find a Melbourne fit out company with the right knowledge to help you with your sustainable office design fit out contact Melbourne’s experts at Affordable Office Fitouts Melbourne.