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Choosing a Perfect Office Fit Out

Whether your team has grown or you’re simply moving to another location, you’ve decided to have an office fit out. Congrats, this is a big decision. But it’s only the beginning of the process.

Next, you’ve got to consider what functionalities you need, what could make your employees more productive, and, most importantly, the size of the budget.

All of which leads to the question of choosing between a Cat A and Cat B fit out.

What Is a Category A Office Fit Out?

Category A is more basic than Category B, and is often seen as preparation for a Cat B office fit out. If you’re moving your premises into a new building, or a building that hasn’t been used in a while, you need a Cat A fit out to make it suitable for your activities.

The first phase is installing mechanical and electrical services, providing you with lighting and air conditioning. This type is suitable for those who want to create their own space. If you’re working in a creative industry, you may love the challenge. On the other hand, if you’re a highly practical person, you may prefer to have it all done by the company you’ve hired.

Therefore, you can’t expect a lot of furniture, but you should expect things like painted walls, grid ceilings, raised metal flooring, toilets, etc. If you’re a landlord who owns an office building, this may be a good solution for you. That way, you’re allowing each tenant to customize their working space. We could assume that if it’s an established company, they already have some furniture that serves their purposes.

Of course, some building companies offer new office equipment, tailored made for your business. So you could opt for types like A+ which is in between.

What Is a Category B Office Fit Out?

Category B is a much more detailed process. By choosing this option, you can get professionals to create an optimal office fit out. London residents often don’t have enough time to design their offices and think about all details. They prefer to get furnished offices, so they don’t waste their precious time moving things around.

It’s essential to choose a building company that you can trust to create a space tailored-made for your business. You should look for a company that asks many additional questions and pays attention to your needs. Of course, they could suggest some solutions from their broad experience, but your opinion matters as well.

Their first task is to shape the interior spaces and construct different rooms if they aren’t any. It also includes creating special areas, such as a small kitchen or a staff room. Some of the things that often come with Cat B office fit outs are tiles and parquet flooring, doors, furniture, and decorations.

If you want to go beyond with your office fit out, London companies also offer a branded fit out. This is essential for those who need to impress their business partners and customers. Never underestimate the power of interiors.

Which One Is Better?

Some businesses opt for Category A because they assume it’s more cost-effective. And yes, it can seem much cheaper, but don’t forget that you still have to do all other things if you want to create a usable space. This option can work for those who already have office furniture, and just have basic requirements.

On the other hand, Category B doesn’t have to be that expensive either. Remember that you can choose materials and brands, and it’s always possible to find something that fits into your budget. Another important factor is time. If you need to have your office ready, a Category B fit out is a much faster solution than furnishing it yourself.

What Do Your Employees Need?

Some business owners forget to ask their employees what they need, and they spend a small fortune creating a space that turns out to be little more than functional. That’s why it’s essential to talk to your employees and ask them what kind of space they want. Remember that a working area has a high impact on both motivation and productivity.

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10 Ways to Create a More Energy-Efficient Home

Energy-efficiency is a major concern for homeowners, businesses, and governments alike. The UK government’s ambition to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 is being worked toward via a raft of initiatives. In Wales, the Innovative Housing Programme recently granted £9.5 million to retrofit 1,000 homes owned by social landlords and councils.

But waiting for government intervention isn’t necessary; energy efficiency is its own reward. Let’s look at a few ways in which homeowners might improve their property’s energy efficiency.

Upgrade the Boiler

An old boiler will need to consume much more gas to create the same amount of heat. Swap it out for something new, and you’ll save considerably in the long-term. Make sure that your boiler is covered against premature failure.

Replace Double-Glazing

Over time, the seals around double-glazing will fail, and its insulating capacity will fade. Swap it out for a new window. If you’re in an older property where double-glazing isn’t practicable, you might install secondary glazing instead. This is like an extra sheet of glass installed behind the window itself.

Replace Draughty Doors

Over time, an older wooden door will warp, allowing gaps to form around the edges. Block these with compression strips, or replace the entire door with something more modern. As well as improving energy-efficiency, this will also confer security benefits.

Fill Gaps Between Floorboards

In older properties, gaps between floorboards will allow cold air to easily circulate. Eliminate this problem by plugging the gap.

Switch Supplier

Different energy suppliers charge different rates. Many of us could save big by making a switch – and the only reason we don’t is laziness. Services like Uswitch make the process easier – but all you really need to make a transition is to research your options and pick up the phone.

Switch Lighting

Don’t replace old light bulbs with halogen – it’s vastly more expensive to run. Get a nice, bright LED bulb instead. It’ll pay for itself within a few months.

Review Heating

Your heating system might not be performing optimally. Are the radiators heating up? If not, it may be that they need to be bled – or that the entire system needs to be drained and refilled.

Install Heat Pump

A ground source heat-pump is a device which draws heat from the ground and uses it to heat your property. This is a major operation, and an expensive one, but it’ll keep your property warm in the long-term while slashing your costs and reducing your energy consumption.

Insulate Loft

As heat rises, it’ll mostly escape through the loft. Make sure that you have a generous layer of insulation up there to prevent it from doing so. You can sort this yourself, or pay someone to do it for you.

Install Solar Panels

Solar panels take energy from the sun and convert it into electricity. As well as powering all of the thigs in your house, solar panels might also help you to charge and electric car overnight. Panels are far more efficient than they once were, and they’re practical even in the rainy UK!

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How to Maximize Environmental Efficiency in Residential Construction

Young, attractive housewife makes the replacement of the used LED light bulb in the chandelier in the room

For homeowners, energy costs remain a source of significant concern. A lack of efficiency in energy consumption is not only bad for the environment, it can become a creeping cost factor that increases over the years.

In a bid to minimize energy costs, many homeowners engage in standard energy-saving behaviors, such as closing doors and windows, turning off lights when not in the room, and ensuring there are no major air leaks. But these practices are sometimes insufficient. Hence, it’s about time you ramp up your home’s energy efficiency by learning new ways to achieve a better outcome.

Here’s how you can maximize efficiency:

1. Have The Right Ventilation and Cooling System

Ventilation is a great way to achieve better energy-efficiency in a home. Without proper ventilation, the air inside can become stagnant and require additional climate control. There’s also a high chance of increased moisture and heat buildup, resulting in mold formation and structural damage.

One source of increased moisture in homes is air leaks, which are used for ventilation but lack a control system, resulting in higher energy consumption for cooling devices. Sealing air leaks can significantly improve energy efficiency in a home. After executing those modifications, the next thing is to improve the home’s cooling and heating systems.

Another factor is having an appropriately sized HVAC system. Generally, smaller homes can easily be conditioned using a PTAC a/c unit, which requires no ducts compared to other HVAC systems, while larger homes will need a centralized system with ducts. Often, new or refurbished PTAC units can be picked up quite affordably as well.

2. Prioritize Insulation

The loss of thermal energy through openings within the home is another significant cause of energy inefficiency. Without proper home insulation, you’ll continuously have higher energy usage from appliances, which tend to produce a lot of heat or cold air.

That’s why insulation should be factored in when designing and constructing homes. Homes without proper insulation should be retrofitted with modern, high-efficiency insulation to increase energy savings.

Hot climates require homeowners to find ways to reduce heat energy gained from the sun. These include reflective insulation and specialized glazings. Cold climates, on the other hand, require a reduction of heat loss by the installation of solar-facing windows and bulk insulation in attics.

3. Buy Energy Efficient Appliances and Use Responsibly

The Energy Star rating system has led to many manufacturers implementing energy-saving capabilities in their products over the last few years. These days, there are a huge number of these appliances, which can significantly reduce energy consumption compared with unrated appliances, available across the world.

However, no matter the amount of energy conserved by these appliances, optimal use by owners is also necessary. That’s why it’s always good to:

  • Unplug appliances that aren’t in use
  • Not spend too long staring into the refrigerator with the door open, and
  • Upgrade old worn-out appliances

You can also save energy by running cleaning appliances only when necessary, such as when there’s a full load of laundry or dishes. These practices, combined with energy-saving appliances, can significantly reduce your energy consumption.

4. Replace Incandescent Bulbs and Use Natural Lighting

Incandescent light bulbs are some of the most common light sources in the world, but they’re alarmingly inefficient. Light Emitting Diodes (LED) lights and Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) have become viable alternatives to the incandescent light bulbs. LEDs and CFLs last longer and drastically reduce energy consumption.

Lights should also be switched off during the daytime, and natural light sources should be used instead whenever possible. If existing natural light sources, such as windows, aren’t adequate, other installable options include skylights and light shelves.

5. Install Energy-Efficient Plumbing

Apart from insulating pipes and sealing their entry points into the home, you can achieve better efficiency by thinking beyond the pipes.

Some examples include:

  • Tankless Water Heaters: Otherwise called demand-type water heaters, tankless water heaters save energy by eliminating the need to keep the water in a tank heated. Instead, it produces heated water when it’s actually needed.
  • Low Flow Toilets and Showerheads: If you find you’re using a lot of water, it might be a good idea to look into toilets that have a high star water rating for more efficiency. Low flow toilets generally consume lower amounts of water compared to the older versions with large tanks.

Along with that, low flow showerheads come with built-in controls for users to minimize water waste. These controls allow you to adjust the amount of water and heat levels that you have in your shower.

  • Dual Toilet Flush: These types of toilets allow for optimal water usage by providing two flush options. One does the total flush in the case of defecation while the other gives intermittent flushes for urination. Hence, dual flush toilets help save water over time.
Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite image between a hand photography and a 3D background.

Conclusion

Optimal energy efficiency is an achievable feat that requires a good degree of effort from homeowners. For best results, engage in simple energy-saving practices and seek out energy efficient appliances whenever something needs to be replaced.

Overall, new installations in the ventilation system, lighting, and plumbing fittings are great ideas when it comes to maximizing energy efficiency in any residential construction.

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