7 Trending and Eco-Friendly Commercial Design Ideas

This is a Guest Post by Natalie Akins is an editor for the Innovative Building Materials

The eco-friendly design has been a hot topic for years, and many companies are puzzled to figure out what this means for them. Commercial design is a massive type of building that may seem impossible to make green, but is it? 

Eco Friendly Office Space

The eco-friendly design has been a hot topic for years, and many companies are puzzled to figure out what this means for them. Commercial design is a massive type of building that may seem impossible to make green, but is it? 


These are trending eco-friendly commercial design ideas, and why they matter!

Why Eco-Friendly Commercial Design Matters Right Now

Nearly 70% of American and Canadian consumers want and expect a brand to be sustainable or eco-friendly. These consumers seek out companies that work hard to make every facet of their business into something that's good for the Earth and mindful of their impact. 


Not only does making your company more eco-friendly benefit the environment and ensure that we can all enjoy it: it also ensures the right customers will find you. After all, 78% percent of people are more likely to buy a product if it's sustainable or eco-friendly; you just have to offer people what they already want.

1. Glass Walls to Add Visuals and Reduce Artificial Lighting

Glass walls are making a comeback and are extremely popular with companies focused on being green. Not only does a glass wall take up fewer materials than a normal exterior wall, but it also ensures that the company can have natural lighting through most of the business day, saving money and possibly increasing the amount of vitamin D their employees take in. There's a lot of good here that can't be ignored.


On the interior of your building, glass walls have countless uses. Still, they offer a visual kick without all of the construction and materials necessary for an interior wall. Glass curtain walls clearly mark a difference between two spaces while also allowing natural light to continue through.

2. Adaptive Reuse Architecture

The process of adaptive reuse is Earth-friendly from the get-go. This process repurposes buildings for possible new uses and functions other than those originally needed. Because of this, it's made it far easier and greener to update and demolish older buildings as long as you're able to show that the good far out-measures the utility of keeping the building as it was. In addition, adaptive reuse architecture gives your company the chance to start over in a green space.

3. Gorgeous Long Lasting Steel Windows

If you're in an older building and you want to repurpose it to be greener, you don't have to give up the beautiful classic look of the building. Using historic steel windows that are built to look older but perform like the best new windows will give your company the chance to keep the old and step forward into the future at the same time.


Consider what style works best for your building, how much light you want, and even if you want to add more windows while you're at it. Natural lighting is key to a great office space.

4. Floor Heating That Will Make Floors Last Longer

Floor heating within a commercial space may sound strange: but it's actually an awesome way to ensure that the area is comfortable and able to last as long as possible. Using radiant floor heating throughout a building will reduce the amount of moisture that gets into the building, ensure it's comfortable for all workers, and can reduce the heating costs. Of course, it might sound strange to think about, but it's an excellent investment for any commercial space.

5. Passive Solar Building Design

Passive solar design is something you have to use from the moment you're considering constructing a building until its completion. It ensures windows, walls, and even floors, are made to collect, store, distribute, and reflect solar energy. In addition, it takes advantage of a buildings' site, materials, and climate to minimize how much power the company consumes. The passive solar building design is an awesome way to ensure your company does everything it can to make itself green.

6. Chiller Boiler Systems

This hydronic system uses water instead of air to heat and cool a system. Although boilers are traditionally known just for heat, a chiller boiler system reduces complexity and uses radiant heating and cooling to condition its business. Compared to air, water cooling systems are more space-efficient and give the chance for a company to have far lower cooler heating and cooling bills. This allows you to use a greener way to cool or heat the entire building, while also ensuring you can save money and avoid having to pour a ton into a green heating and cooling system that you'd have to deal with otherwise.

Moss Wall at BMO Tower in Milwaukee Wisconsin

7. Green Walls 

Green Walls are an effective way to bring nature indoors. There are a few options available. Preserved moss walls are incredibly popular because they require no special lighting requirements or plumbing, while enhancing the space with a relaxing biophilic element to enhance any workspace. It is very easy to incorporate a company’s branding into the wall or a neon sign for the perfect selfie wall. The plants are preserved - so they look alive, but they are not, so there is no on-going maintenance and they can also achieve very unique designs. Living Walls are another example, using real plants to enhance the air quality of the space, but they do require continuous maintenance. Either way - there are tremendous benefits to having a green wall in homes, offices, retail or hospitality spaces. 

Eco-Friendly Commercial Design Doesn’t Have to Be Impossible to Achieve!

Whether this is the first time your company has taken on eco-friendly design, or you're trying to broaden your abilities: getting to know what's out there can make your company more sustainable for the modern customer. So consider any of these design ideas, and think about the many ways they could be beneficial!

Natalie Akins is an editor for the Innovative Building Materials blog and a content writer for the building materials industry. She is focused on helping fellow homeowners, contractors, and architects discover materials and methods of construction that save money, improve energy efficiency, and increase property value.