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Green Offices

Green Offices. Jardineria Ramal
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With a busy lifestyle, we rarely stop and think about the time we spend in our offices compared to in our own homes. We don't notice either that those places are favorable for a small group of plants, an oasis of vegetation or our own small indoor garden. 

At Ramal, we believe in the idea that taking care of at least one plant gives us the satisfaction of preserving a little piece of nature, a part of the planet and that makes us happy, even if it is just a small cactus next to our computer monitor. It seems that looking at and gifting plants connects us to the earth in some way. It is incredible how it grows every day, a tiny sprout appears, a flower opens and closes, and all of this happens in front of us, sitting at our desk in our office.

 

Planters for offices.. Jardineria Ramal

What plants or small indoor gardens give you

Having indoor plants in our offices isn’t just nice to look at, it also gives us very positive working conditions because they reduce stress and increase productivity in workers. Creating our small indoor garden gives a relaxed environment that helps to better the climate at our work center in addition to filtering the air and reducing the effect of emissions from computers and other electronic devices.  

Factors to keep in mind when creating a green space in your office

Office entrance. Jardineria Ramal

  • Study of environmental conditions: For starters, we will have to do a study of the light, humidity and air flow since those parameters will guide us when the time comes to choose the plant species we will put in our work station. The most important factor is brightness, as it is ideal that the plants receive direct sunlight. However, if your office is not very bright, don’t worry, there are a variety of plants that don’t require much sunlight. 
  • Available space: this is the determining factor because the space that is available will determine the size of the planter as well as the choice of plant species, depending on the amount of space it needs.
  • Selection of adequate plant species: so that you have a brief idea when the time comes to choose the plants, we will name a series of plant species that adapt perfectly to indoor environments: Kentia (Howea forsteriana), Zamioculca (Zamioculca zamiifolia), Areca (Dypsis lutescens), Philodendron (Philodendron bipinnatifidum), Drácena (Dracena sp.), Aralia (Japanese fatsia), Espatifilo (Spathiphyllum wallisii) y Poto (Epipremmum aureum). 
  • Posterior maintenance: a factor that you should keep in mind when installing a garden in your office or work space is that it will need constant maintenance to achieve its correct development. 

Why put plants in your place of work?

We will tell you a number of benefits of having plants in your work space;

  • Decorative: having plants in your work space will give you a very natural, attractive decoration.
  • Stress reduction: the simple act of thinking about plants puts you in a state of relaxation and serenity.
  • Improved productivity: many scientific studies have determined that having plants in your work station has very positive psychological effects, increases productivity and decreases absenteeism.
  • Aromatherapy: the aroma of flower planta helps to relax you and also helps you to have better concentration.
  • Air filtration: as we know, through photosynthesis, plants absorb carbon dioxide (CO2) and they convert it into oxygen (O2), to purify the environment, reducing the effects of emissions from computers and other electronic devices.
  • Air purification: the clean the dust in the atmosphere and chemical elements from synthetic materials, which improves the purity of the air in your work space.
  • They maintain and/or increase the humidity level: in order to avoid dryness of the mucous membranes and the skin.

Office interior. Jardineria Ramal

Lastly, as we have mentioned, a factor that you must keep in mind when installing and indoor garden in your work space is that it will need constant maintenance to achieve its correct development.

If you don’t have time for it, or you don’t think you will be able to, at Ramal Gardening and landscaping, we have a team of expert gardeners of indoor garden maintenance. 

If you want your work space to have harmony and charm, and you need help… don’t hesitate to contact us.

You can contact us by phone at 965 088 281 or by email: info @ jardineriaramal.es.

Latest office trends

Offices in New York. Ford Foundation Building

In Manhattan, New York, there is one of the most unique buildings, and it is the Ford Foundation Building. It is near the United Nations building and was built between 1963 and 1968 at an approximate cost of 16 million dollars.

Kevin Roche modifies the classic concept of an office building with this project. The size, the cubic shape, made with a metal structure and concrete, with a granite, glass and steel Corten facade. The most outstanding characteristic of this 12-story building is that the offices are organized around an extraordinary glass atrium with a splendid interior garden. The atrium is a big empty space inside of the building.

 

Green offices. Jardineria Ramal

The garden is public and open to visitors during the office hours. It was designed by Dan Kiley and in it there are plants, bushes, trees and even a pond. This green space that seems like an impressive greenhouse, achieves a new type of urban space in a prominent place like Manhattan that has very few public and green spaces for citizens. As a foundation whose purpose is social and creative, it is exemplary that precisely this institution offers this contribution of space to the city.

Office green spaces. Jardineria Ramal

On the other hand, individual and private spaces for each office are comfortable and offer the sensation of privacy once the door is closed. At the same time, the visual connection with the other offices gives a feeling of community. This way it creates a curious ambiguity between public and private.  

Ecological offices. Jardineria Ramal

Due to the exceptional design of the building, it is monumentally iconic, while also giving the sensation of lightness. The Ford Foundation is one of the most well-known and recognized works of Kevin Roche, and has received the AIA 25-year award, as one of the buildings that has best endured time. 

Garden Office. Jardineria Ramal

Trends in office building in China. Urban Forest

Garden office buildings in China. Jardineria Ramal

Urban Forest (2009, China). It is about offices and hotels with rounded floors, where right angles are prohibited.
"In all of the traditional Chinese gardens there is as much architecture as there is nature...
And it is possible to take this philosophy into low buildings
"..

The biofilm design: The power of green

The biofilm design: the power of green, has had a boom in recent years, given that the design companies are responding to the necessity of clients with a desire to incorporate the benefits of nature into their work space. This is the impression of an artists on the interior of Clif Bar and the central offices of a business in California designed by ZGF Architects LLP.

In recent years, there are more studies and investigations done by environmental psychologists from around the world that show that environments that connect people to nature (like the installation of plants or gardens in offices), favor cognitive performance, well-being and stress reduction among other benefits.

Leight Stringer, (Director of innovation and investigation) from the company HOK, a global design company, architecture, engineering and planning, says that it is worthwhile to replicate this link between humans and other living systems, (which is frequently referred to as a biofilm design) in indoor environments.

 

Indoor office gardens. Jardineria Ramal

"The plants physically and literally relax you", she says. "Even with one artificial plant, your spirit returns to the savannah".

Seeing a plant can do so much more than that. A study from universities in Munich and Rochester show that thinking about green before a creative project can help improve creative performance.

Other studies show that people that work in a room with no windows but have plants are more efficient in their jobs, their blood pressure is lower and they feel more attentive than the people that worked in the same room with no plants.

A study from Northwestern University discovered that evaluations for employees that had work environments with no windows were significantly lower in terms of quality of life, vitality and function during the day. Another study related better lighting to a 15% reduction of absenteeism in the workplace.

 

Indoor garden design. Jardineria Ramal

None of this matters at a time when office environments are changing radically. Open spaces, the new "hot desking" system (are work centers used by a variety of people simultaneously and don’t take up a lot of space) and other trends are deteriorating the cubicles and offices.

The good news is that even when you work in an office with open space and no windows, Augustin says that there a lot of things you can do to improve your space and be successful.

For example, if you can’t see a tree or nature, go for something fictitious. "A lot of people use images of nature on their walls", Stringer says, "and these things really help from a mental perspective".

Clear up your space; "Disorder is very stressful for humans", Augustin says, "but don’t get rid of everything as that is just as bothersome. Leave a few personal objects and significant things for you".

Have a meeting while taking a walk. In a study done by Hartig, people that went out for a walk in a natural place had better performance on a number of jobs that require concentration, in comparison to the people that walked in an environment with mostly buildings and construction or that read in silence a newspaper indoors "Both are working towards the same thing, they are on the same team; they need to raise their adrenaline and improve blood circulation so that they are able to think more creatively right now", Stringer says.

Office garden design. Jardineria Ramal

And if you need inspiration, take a walk at the zoo. According to Heerwagen, during the last few decades, zoos have changed radically and successfully their designs with the goal of modeling after nature. What are the three principal lessons to learn? It is more than just surviving towards well-being, it’s based on primitive preferences and connections with nature, the design keeping in mind the senses and the body.

Just think about nature, Augustin says. "As humans, we are used to living in environments where dark colors are at our feet; medium intensity colors are trees and bushes; and lighter colors are above us, for example the sky. For this reason, a completely white space for example, would be very weird to us as a species".

The new offices for Amazon in Seattle are in a botanical garden

The office of Architects NBBJ, published the sketches for the new offices for Amazon in the city of de Seattle, (USA) a few weeks ago. Until now, everything is normal. The surprise was that these infographics, drawings and sketches revealed that the new Amazon campus would be placed inside of a botanical garden. 

The plans from the company NBBJ show how the new offices and work spaces (places inside of impressive spherical buildings, like 30-meter-tall greenhouses) will coexist with huge and well-kept green areas.

The goal of this project is to offer the employees a unique, impressive and completely ecological work environment so that they can “work and socialize in a more natural environment, like a garden”.

The project shows that how they are distributing the gardens could represent the different ecosystems of the world, choosing species and plants for each one that can subsist easily in each of the new gardens, in addition to being beneficial for the Amazon employees.

 

Amazon garden office project. Jardineria Ramal

Amazon Seattle office sketches. Image source: The office of architects NBBJ

This research proposal by NBBJ Architects for Amazon gets its inspiration from previous projects like the Leipzig Zoo, the Botanical Garden in Wales and the installation of Gardens by the bay in Singapore, all of which are incredible examples of green environments.

This project is one of the biggest and most impressive gardens in the world. Carried out by the British Architectural Grant Associates in 2012, it is part of the project “City in a Garden” in Singapore, focusing on enhancing the image of the city at a global level and creating a better horticultural sample and artistic garden than ever before seen. 

They are really awesome architectural works that give shelter to the greatest variety of species of horticulture, creating very versatile spaces destined for events and retail. Refrigerated conservatories, flower domes, forest domes and some impressive structures that simulate giant trees between 25 and 50 meters tall. Beautiful vertical gardens that light up at night with different projections and visitors to climb to the tree tops to see a unique and unforgettable view of the gardens from its integrated runway.

 

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