Green with Envy: Cool Office Space


mt01_hok_h_4c.jpghok_corridor_west.jpg studio0102.jpg

HOK is one of the foremost respected architectural and interior design firms in the world. They are known for their commitment to quality, efficiency, and the environment.They strive to encourage all of their employees to get LEED certificated so that they are more equipped as a unit to give back to the community through design.

In their fairly new downtown Toronto office, management posted posters of Kermit the frog proclaiming “it’s easy to be green”. In addition, the provided classes and workshops to help prepare the staff. HOK has now exceeded it goal of having more than 40% of its employees certified. I am sure by working in a LEED certified space, the employees found major inspiration to do so. The new Toronto branch for instance, is a great model for green office design. It is hip, functional, and has an equal level of comfort and style.

plan-model.jpgThis particular office has been designed for approximately 200 employees. 85% of the construction waste, 18,000 pounds, was recycled or redistributed. Each of the work areas themselves have individual thermostats and there is plenty of natural daylight with the operable windows encasing the open studio space. It is not effective business management to have employees who are for better lack of words, “high” off of toxic and radio active fumes and waves, so ventilated copying and mounting rooms are situated throughout.

For the 82% of the employees who use public transit, walk, or bicycle to work, there is a special allocated space for their bikes as well as showers. With an office such as this, I too would be excited to ride my bike or sub-it to work. Check out this featured article to read more about this project.

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About Danelle Brown


  1. Having showers at work greatly increases people riding bikes, it’s true. I know SO many people that have said to me when I told them about biking to my job 35 minutes away….I would do that, but I can’t be at work all day all sweaty and gross. I found that taking a shower before I rode meant that I could towel off once I got to work, and I didn’t smell (bacteria, which takes time to build up, is what creates body odor), but most people aren’t comfortable with that. It’s very cool that the company thought of that!

    Also, recycling 85% of construction waste! That’s really amazing- I’ve read that a huge percentage of landfill space is taken up by construction detritus.

  2. I believe going green is the only way to go. Look at the weather around the world this year, its been crazy. I feel that buildings should be built in an environmentally green way and we have to start using bikes, walking more. I have been trying to walk to work and its great when its a great day, but when it rains I get to work sweaty and my clothes smell. The other alternative is to have better transport for the public. I also believe office building should go back to the using opening windows. Most modern office buildings use air conditioning which wastes alot of energy and I dont think recycling air in an office is good for ones health. So all for green.

  3. Furniture in offices should be made to be last longer especially computers and other electrical gadgets because they have to be scrapped. It would be better if they could be refurbished.

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