Green is now a much broader concept than plants alone. These days green particularly means sustainable. But, remarkably enough, green plants are only ever sparsely included in sustainable concepts. This is a real shame, as plants can represent a vital part of a much more complete sustainable set up. This could include isolation by using green roofs; better air quality and humidity because of indoor plants and therefore another energy saving. The ‘people’ aspects of wellbeing and better acoustics are additional bonus points.
So how can real green be so easily forgotten?
This is the main reason why Into Green exists and unfortunately we don’t have the perfect answer, but we do have a number of possible ones.
We suspect that indoor green in particular is still associated with ‘houseplants’ to too great an extent and this certainly isn’t seen as something trendy.
Another reason is that most technological developments in relation to sustainability mainly involve techniques and materials and that people are inclined to just overlook nature and what it can do. The benefits of indoor green can certainly be measured, but this meter isn’t an automatically built in one.
When people think about indoor green, they will usually associate this with colour or atmosphere, not as an active component in the actual green or where making a building energy neutral is concerned.
And the last answer we can give you is that not enough is known about plants’ air purifying effects and the wellbeing aspects.
Inspiration for green buildings
An increasing amount of attention is now being devoted to the wellbeing aspect in the care sector, in addition to thinking ‘greener’. Patients who feel better will recover much more quickly; dementia patients who are stimulated and remember things from earlier periods in their lives will become calmer and even conditions like ADHD can benefit from the tranquillity and recognition which green can offer.
These hospitals talk about their complete green set up and why they have opted for this:
Rush Medical Centre in Chicago
Swedish’s New Medical Centre in Issaquah
Other buildings where green has been integrated with real green
Bring the outside inside, the philosophy behind the Windesheim college in Zwolle’s X building.
This green school in Oklahoma made the building sustainable from cost considerations. However, the latter isn’t made particularly clear. But the film does show how the sustainable concept can also be used for education purposes.