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    Green Infrastructure: From Concrete Jungle to Mini-Eden

    Tensile

    Sustainable. Eco-friendly. Carbon Neutral.

    Across a huge range of industries and initiatives, we’ve seen that a generous sprinkling of these buzzwords gets people’s attention. Let’s face it: it’s popular being green. And when it comes to building office environments, it’s not only cool to be green; it puts more “green” in your pockets too.

    An increasingly popular option for those looking to add green initiatives to their existing building or new development is the inclusion of green infrastructure.

    One of the most obvious benefits of green infrastructure is that it greatly improves the aesthetics of office blocks. Evidence shows that when surrounded by flowers and greenery,people feel less stressed and more comfortable.

    Beyond aesthetics, there are many more benefits: plant photosynthesis improves air quality, which has a positive effect on workers’ health according to the Australian Department of the Environment. Better health equals fewer sick days, returning the benefit of investing in green infrastructure to the employer. Foliage also absorbs sound and reduces noise pollution, a major contributor to stress levels.

    Green infrastructure also keeps buildings cool. That allows for a reduced dependency on air conditioning in summer months, which can save you money off your electricity bill. It can also give a huge boost to a building’s sustainability rating. A great example is The Council House in Melbourne: by employing a green façade, it became Australia’s first 6 Green Star rated commercial building by the Green Building Council of Australia.

    All of these benefits make properties more attractive to potential occupants; from businesses looking to increase their efforts in sustainability, to residents wanting a more eco-friendly home. This demand for green buildings allows owners to command higher rental rates.

    Two of the most popular ways to incorporate green infrastructure are the use of green walls and green facades. Green walls (a.k.a. vertical gardens) involve building the plant’s bases into the wall, including the structural supports to cope with the weight of the soil and the ancillary watering systems. This can be very expensive and, in the case of retrofits, is restricted by a building’s existing design.

    On the other hand, green façades are a much more economical option that is more easily retrofitted. Green facades use creepers and vines to cover a building, with the root of the plants anchored in the ground or at strong points on the building. These kinds of plants offer excellent coverage as they distribute their leaves evenly across the entire all to maximise their surface area and ensure your green facade looks lush.

    Download this free whitepaper to learn how green infrastructure can benefit your next project, and how Tensile green façades can transform your building into a mini-Eden without busting the budget.

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