5 Awesome Sustainable Office Design Trends to Watch for in 2020
January 15, 2020 Cristina Villalón
AD&V Office Studio Space.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR |  Cristina Villalón is the Co-Founder and Lead Designer at Álvarez-Díaz & Villalón. She directs both the Interior Design and Visual Merchandising divisions while overseeing all decisions made on a day-to-day basis at the firm.

People and brands alike have become more conscious of how we’re taking care of the environment.

This is one of the many reasons why companies and employees are shifting towards a sustainable workspace.

Sustainable design best practices do not only focus on saving energy and natural resources, but also on increasing the well-being of those who work in the spaces we design.

Below are 5 sustainable office designs that will be trending in 2020 for a healthier way of working and living:

1. Sustainable Materials

The materials that people use have an environmental impact that stretches from the manufacturing process to the landfill.

Sustainable office designs are seeking out materials that are non-toxic, eco-friendly, recycled, recyclable, renewable, durable and/or repurposed. Offices are integrating sustainable materials into their space by using paints low in volatile organic compounds, recycled glass worktops, bookshelves instead of walls or partitions, carpet made of recycled materials or carpet tiles.

AD&V Office waiting area chairs.The AD&V office waiting area includes carpet tile with recycled content and armchairs upholstered with organic fabrics.

2. Sustainable Wood

According to the World Wildlife Foundation (WWF), forests cover 31% of the land area on our planet. With the increasing demand of wood, there are countless forests that have been destroyed and many parts have been deforested around the world. To help protect our planet’s forest, sustainably sourced wood is another trend that’s being used for office interior design.

Sustainable wood comes from sustainably managed forests that are handled to prevent damage to eco-systems, wildlife and the trees themselves. Adding this type of wood into the office design through natural accents, floors, walls, countertops and furniture, gives warmth to the designed space. Having linear or slatted wood paneling in the office design can also make it seem more spacious and help to reduce noise around the workplace.

3. Upcycled Furniture

Converting old or discarded material into furniture is another trend that we will be seeing more of this year. People are avoiding sending usable furniture to the landfill by choosing furniture that is refurbished, repurposed or reconfigured, preferably made with non-toxic, recycled or recyclable materials. Furniture needs to be easily maintained and repaired, durable, adaptable, and timeless in order to be sustainable.

Upcycled chairs, desks, and couches are making their way into the 2020 office space. Giving new life to old furniture goes a long way.

Three upcycled ottomans in retail store.We incorporated upcycled ottomans made from leftover latex shoe sole rolls into one of our retail projects.

4. Biophilic Design

Biophilic design stems from our instinctive bond with nature and natural elements. For 2020, offices are going beyond adding a few plants here and there. They are incorporating nature through natural forms, colors, textures and lighting. Some of the most popular biophilic design elements include living or green walls (made from plants mounted on wood, metal fencing or strings), rooftop and vertical gardens, indoor greenhouses, naturally lit glass panels, stone surfaces and indoor grassy areas, as well as renewable energy sources, green water systems and air purification systems.

Biophilic design also helps to reduce stress, promote physical, mental and emotional health, boost energy and creativity, and improve employee performance and job satisfaction.

AD&V Office reception area with green wall.We used a green carpet on the wall to create a biophilic element and bring a feeling of freshness indoors.

5. Natural Lighting

Natural light is an important trend in office design that can transform spaces, make them healthier, and lower electricity costs.

To maximize the use of natural light, businesses are incorporating different daylighting design techniques like adding lightly colored and smooth interior surfaces that reflect light. While vegetation, curtains, and louvers are also being used to filter the harshness of direct light.

Closeup of the AD&V Office solartubes.The office studio uses a daylight harvesting system with solartubes bathing the space in natural light and reducing the need for artificial lighting.

Sustainable design serves the people as well as the environment. Sustainable design is also trending at the workplace because it enhances the experience of the workers, boosts their productivity, and improves the quality of their lives while reducing demand on the environment.

As people become more aware of our planet’s wellbeing, we will continue to see more sustainable design integrations in the future.

At AD&V, our offices are eco-friendly and we actively provide and promote design solutions that incorporate sustainable practices. Watch the video below to learn more:


  1. Shauna Bottos 2 years ago

    Nice Post!! Thanks for sharing

    • AD&V
      AD&V 2 years ago

      Thank you Shauna! If you would like to receive our latest content, feel free to click on the “Subscribe” button located on the left column of the page. Have a nice day!

  2. Loft Conversions 12 months ago

    Nice article! I really love this article and found it very interesting. Thanks a lot for sharing.

    • AD&V
      AD&V 12 months ago

      Thank you Amanda!

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