tropical plants can help with 'green building' specifications
Plants (Initial Tropical Plants in the USA), with its worldwide
presence, is uniquely positioned to respond to the innovative
methods and certification approach that make up Green Architecture
in North America, Europe and Asia. The World Green Building
Council lists Green Building Councils in the United States,
Japan, Spain, Australia, Canada, India and Korea. These Green
Councils comprise thousands of individuals and companies dedicated
to Green Architecture. This approach can perhaps be summed
up by the mission statement of the USGBC (United
States Green Building Council); '... working to promote
buildings that are environmentally responsible, profitable
and healthy places to live and work.'
Rentokil Initial's own research, as well as independent research,
documents the role that indoor plants play in enhancing building
interiors for the benefit of businesses and their employees.
The two key impact areas are employee morale and employee
The USGBC has recently released Version 2 of its LEED (Leadership
in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Build Rating System.
Rentokil Initial's skills and expertise can be put to good
use in key areas of the LEED rating system. If you are a specifier
designing to meet LEED standards we can be of help with the
Specifiers who design large interior landscapes will need
to have a water usage estimate as part of their overall water
efficiency estimate. In warm climates rooftop collectors may
be used as a water source for interior irrigation systems.
Also, recycled water (as long as it is clean and free from
detergents and other chemicals) is perfectly suitable for
watering plants - they don't need drinking water.
Chemical and Pollutant Source Control
Specifiers of interior landscapes or of large individual planting
units should be aware of the implications of pest control
on indoor plants. Effective strategies can be put in place
through an Integrated Pest Management Programme to control
insect populations by minimizing, and in many cases eliminating,
the use of chemical pesticides.
out over several years has demonstrated how interior plant
displays can improve indoor air quality. The effects
are quite small, but they are measurable and can contribute
to improvements in indoor air quality.
Plants are effective
at increasing the relative humidity in their localized area
(although not evenly throughout an office unless you have
a vast number of plants) and have been shown to reduce levels
of dust. Some plants, through complex interactions with
bacteria in the growing medium, are also effective at reducing
the levels of some atmospheric pollutants. Finally,
plants can reduce the concentration of carbon dioxide in the
atmosphere through the process of photosynthesis.
Interior landscapes have been proven to enhance individual
and common spaces. Plants, properly specified, can improve
room acoustics by reducing reverberation time. They
can also assist in humidification and evaporative cooling.
The optimum goal of LEED is views for 90% of spaces. An effective
interior landscape should not interfere with this goal whilst
also providing individual and communal enhancements.
Properly specified interior landscapes help to create warmth
and human scale in small, medium or large landscapes. An interior
landscape can provide a refuge in a busy environment, a focal
point of interest and a sense of well being by association.
With a dedicated Research and Development department in the
UK and a branch network around the World, Rentokil Initial
is well placed to play a key role in supporting green building
programmes by designing, installing and maintaining excellent
interior plant displays.
Jim Read, Rentokil
Tropical Plants, Toronto