When the unbuilt and the built are wrapped together in a blanket of sensitive landscaping, there is a sense of serenity spread throughout space, the importance of which is essential to cater to its primary users- us humans. Not to forget about the more sensitive creatures like animals and birds who also need biodiversity to co-exist within. Here are a few benefits of landscaping in & around the buildings.
- Physical health benefits for workers: A study suggests that having greenery around the work cabins reduces levels of cortisol, which is a stress hormone that triggers humans to act impulsively. Employees and employers have a better chance at keeping one’s cool at the office. A simple glance at trees outside can calm people within the glass box. The benefits are therapeutic, which employees affirm help them to be closer to nature.
- Sustainability in the community: Taking the bold step ahead by adopting sustainability in the community is a smart step to move towards. This will help reduce particulate dust matter and improve air quality within the community complex. An enhanced micro-climate will encourage communities to grow local varieties of plants near parking, watershed areas, or other hardscapes.
- Attraction through aesthetic: Be it passers-by or possible clients, a greener and more open complex would attract capital into the business.
- Increase in land value: An added benefit to this is that the quality treatment of landscaping increases the land value of that building plot as well. It not only reduces the energy bills but also increases the economic value of the land.
- Improved safety: The alternative for a 12ft wall can be a well-landscaped garden that would create enough punctures through the site for safety. This would benefit both the security team and people walking through the site during the day and night times.
The COVID-19 Pandemic has made people realise the importance of open spaces and relieving stress after a hard day’s work outdoors. Now that people are returning to work to their typical office cubicle, they want the outdoors incorporated with their interiors. One way of doing this is by having convertible roofs so that one can experience the length of the room against the vast expanse of the sky. Many mezzanine terraces have now been converted into gardens.
The idea of going green is spreading across the city on a macro level. They are known as ‘Corporate Gardens’. Back in 2011, Olswang, a law firm in London, won an award for biodiversity for providing hives for 80,000 bees on their converted roof. Now the firm has its gardening team and Bee club where they produce their honey and offer it to their clients. Organisations such as the Bloomsbury Street Hotel and the Mishcon de Reya law firm have started growing food and are tending to wildflowers that are now being tended by their working staff. The head of corporate responsibility also mentioned the perfect blend of this beneficial work environment. Conducting meetings, having lunch, and meeting during a break in the gardens have become a welcoming experience for the staff.
Some fun facts regarding urban landscapes are how incorporating tree canopies into cities and townscapes can improve the quality of life. They can reduce noise levels to the maximum. Also, a recent study by the UF Forest Services states that neighbourhoods with boulevards of trees and larger yard trees have reduced crime rates. According to a study by Marc Berman of the University of Michigan, walking through a natural environment has proven to improve a person’s attention and memory. The University of Washington’s Urban Forestry/Urban Greening Research also found that there is a 7% increase in rental rates with high-quality landscaping. Shoppers will also spend 12% more on goods and services in CBDs that have high tree canopies. Also, shoppers would not mind walking a greater distance with a high canopied zone while spending more time at the shopping arena.
Further, the physical and psychological advantages of green around office buildings go beyond what science can comprehend. After a study, it has been inferred that people instantly feel the connection with plants, and their mood inevitably lifts. In the USA, many institutes such as the University of Washington, Center for Urban Forestry, Nature Sacred, Project Evergreen, Green Plants for Green Buildings, American Society of Landscape Architects, The Lawn Institute, and Nebraska Agricultural Extension Station Research Bulletin, have taken up research into the study of the built environment on people.
Going ahead, the future of office buildings will change drastically from glass boxes to that of a green natural mound that runs synonymous with nature. With an increase in carbon emissions from developed nations, the chances of going back to the old ways of living will become the norm. This could perhaps be a start for reforming the entire planning of office spaces.
1.BusinessBlogs Hub. (2016). The Benefits of an Office Garden for your Workplace. [online] Available at: https://www.businessblogshub.com/2016/10/the-benefits-of-an-office-garden-for-your-workplace/
- Crunch, S.M. (2020). The Importance and Benefits of Landscaping Commercial Property. [online] Shout Me Crunch. Available at: https://www.shoutmecrunch.com/landscaping-commercial-property/
- Loveyourlandscape.org. (2012). The Benefits of Landscapes. [online] Available at: https://www.loveyourlandscape.org/benefits/the-benefits-of-landscapes/.