Innovative and daring, regenerative design is the practice of creating built environments that have a positive impact on our planet. At a time when we are all considering how best to reduce global waste and pollution, regenerative design is becoming more important than ever.
Incorporating regenerative design means building a space that generates minimal waste, uses sustainable materials wherever possible, and will last for years to come. Here at James Tobias, we’re always looking for sustainable approaches to refitting workplaces – and this design principle is one of them.
How does regenerative design work?
Regenerative design focuses on applying processes within a building project that reduce the loss of energy and materials. In simple words: regenerative design seeks to create spaces that have a positive impact on the environment through eco-friendly principles.
Biophilic design, the idea of creating indoor environments that connect people with the natural world, often goes hand in hand with designing a sustainable workspace. So – if it’s done well – it should have a positive impact on both the workplace and the people working there.
What are the features?
There are various different ways to incorporate this strategy into building projects, whether you’re starting from scratch or refitting an existing workspace.
Using sustainable and recycled building materials
Regenerative design starts with the very materials a space is constructed from. At James Tobias, we know that upcycling unused materials is the key to creating a sustainably designed workplace.
Our innovative EcoWall is made entirely from recycled plastic materials that would otherwise be going to waste. It’s made from unrecyclable consumer plastic waste, including yoghurt pots, straws, single use plastic cups, bottle tops and more. No harmful chemicals are added to the RPC material (Recycled Plastic Composite) during production, and any offcuts are recycled straight back into the process. Customisable and versatile, these RPC panels actually outperform wood in wet environments.
Another sustainable building choice is constructing a green roof (sometimes also known as a living roof). This is a roof that is completely or partially covered with vegetation, and has the capacity to grow more to keep it looking green. Green roofs serve as a habitat for wildlife, provide insulation to the building, and absorb rainwater. They also help to lower air temperatures and improve air quality in urban areas.
Workplaces that save and produce clean energy
Any regenerative building should have energy saving embedded in its design. Using microgrids, buildings can store energy on site and use it later.
A truly sustainable building will not only save on energy – it will produce its own clean energy too. Sources of renewable energy, such as wind turbines and solar panels, can be used to generate clean power in a regenerative building.
Reusing rainwater and wastewater
Making good use of water is vital to building a truly regenerative building. Capturing rainwater and reusing it later is a great way to save on bills. Incorporating onsite water treatment and reusing wastewater is also a great way to save money and implement eco-friendly processes into a building’s design.
Regenerative design could revolutionise building projects
As with any fresh concept, it will take time for regenerative design to become the new normal. Often businesses and communities are averse to trying something new, but the rewards regenerative design principles promise make them worthy of note.
Through clever strategies like the use of sustainable materials – such as our pioneering RPC material – and water and energy saving solutions, any business can reap the rewards of regenerative design.