What good is an empty green office?

Making sustainable choices is hard, but we all know significant and immediate action is necessary. VALO is making it work with four principles and a million tiny details.


Relearning efficiency in a modern workspace

Making sustainable choices is hard. Everything from coffee to furniture include about a million tiny details that rarely amount to sustainable offices. As an office customer you’re forced to make “good decisions” blind, not to mention all the things you don’t get a say on. We all know significant and immediate action is necessary; so how do we make it happen in commercial real estate, one of the biggest polluters around?

Here’s how we at VALO have come to see it:

1. Inefficiency is waste, plain and simple
It’s absurd that even in “full use” offices are only actually used during office hours on weekdays but are heated, lit and maintained 24/7. And a harsh reality is that it’s only getting worse.

The nature of work is changing but our offices aren’t changing with it. Company life cycles are getting shorter and more volatile, staff sizes vary significantly from project to project and employee roles are getting more diverse. So we acquire more and more space to fit our maximum staff and functions, but use the space less and less as it only serves a fraction of our needs. What we truly need are tools and spaces that adjust, shift and change with our needs.

By baking authentic flexibility, of both services and space, into our premises we’ll start mending that mistake. VALO finds efficiency in bringing together a hotel, office and meeting & event services. Whenever you’re not using our office rooms or shared workspaces, they’re not just standing around empty, they’re released to the use of others, be it quiet solo work, meetings, hotel accommodation or anything else our customer might need. At best the same room is in use 24/7, 365 and the cost is shared between all its users. The same goes for all the building tech and maintenance as well as office tech like screens and keyboards.

2. Opt for the chisel and hammer, not the mango pitter
When employee roles started getting diverse the real estate industry started building ad hoc workspaces that serve all those particular needs – essentially creating one function tools like mango pitters. But new digital tools and recent innovations in furniture design enable truly diverse uses for a single tool while still providing a ‘made to order’ experience.

There are such things as tables that turn into beds, beds that fold into walls and desks that fold out of the wall. Our workspaces, hotel rooms and meeting facilities are made with those and a few other innovations, creating spaces that change shape with our customers’ needs. Our platform and app wraps all that up into neat little packages for first time customers and regulars alike. That’s our chisel and hammer. Our customers get to decide what our facilities are for them, not the other way around.

3. Love your community
Building for the people with the people pretty much guarantees you’ll end up making decisions that serve the people. The decisions won’t be the cheapest for right now, but they’ll pay off in the end.

Supporting local innovations like Tablebed, the tables that turn into beds at VALO, increases the wealth of the community and cuts down on transportation’s carbon emissions. Choosing durable recycled materials whenever possible, like the Woodio sinks in our bathrooms, saves your environment twice over; in production and in maintenance. They’re also easy to care for, so we save resources in cleaning. Reaching climate goals takes more than just the building, so serving seasonal food, offering vegan options and preferring local and organic ingredients in restaurants is a given, as it is at our Bistro ELO and Lounge & Bar SUO. Finally, that love for the community should touch the customer as well; choose natural soaps like Ole Hyvä natural cosmetics from Finland, that not only are sustainable but also smell really good.

4. Let me help you with that
Like we said, it’s about a million tiny things, so let us obsess over it. Whether you want to work on it with us or just enjoy the results, we’ll make sure the coffee, the chairs and the bathroom sinks alike are sustainable and fair.


Isla Vainio
Creative & Design Lead
VALO Hotel & Work