Plants are Key to Cool Workplaces

21/06/2011

Following the hottest Spring since records began and predictions of a Summer heat wave*, Ambius, the world leader in enhancing buildings through interior landscaping, scenting and artwork has put together its top tips for keeping buildings cool this summer through the use of trees, plants and interior landscaping.

Kenneth Freeman, International Technical Director for Ambius said: "Maintaining the temperature in buildings year round is a challenge, particularly where you have a large atrium or big expanses of glass. However, relying purely on air conditioning to cool the environment is both costly and unnecessary."

"Plants aren’t just for show, in addition to their proven health benefits, plants can also act as miniature air-conditioning systems keeping staff and the working environment cool."

With this in mind Ambius has produced its top tips for keeping workplaces cool with plants:

Plants for cool buildings

  • Place plants near windows to provide some shade. Choose plants tolerant of higher levels of light like the Ficus benjamina which will provide pleasant dappled shade.
  • Ficus triangularis has similar qualities to Ficus benjamina, but is more self-contained as it can be trained around a frame or trellis, creating a design impact
  • Big, thirsty, leafy plants have some of the best cooling properties such as the Spathiphyllum or Philodendrons. The transpiration of water is an energetic process, so the more transpiration, the more heat is removed from the environment.
  • Green walls can be also be useful in cooling down the office
  • Use large trees in atria allowing the foliage to act as a useful solar shield. The high transpiration rates can also make a significant contribution to cooling to the whole building.
  • Smaller offices should choose lush, leafy types and make use of those that can climb or trail over frames and poles to gain some height and produce some shade.

This article appeared on ADF www.adfonline.eu.

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