Green Roofs - Living Architecture Monitor - Summer 2019 - 18

GREEN WALLS

LIVING GREEN WALL BRANDING AND
BIOPHILIC DESIGN HELP RETAIN TOP TALENT
BY HAL THORNE, CEO, GSKY

As the labor market tightens, companies continue to develop
new and innovative ways to attract top talent. Two major tools
are branding - the values and aesthetics that set companies
apart, and employee experience - the day-to-day amenities and
aesthetics of the workplace.

I

nterior designers for some companies
are adopting a solution that boosts
workplace allure on both counts and
energizes spaces: living green walls.

ATTRACTING MILLENNIAL EMPLOYEES
WITH GREEN BRANDING

Many companies are updating branding
and experience to satisfy the tastes of
digitally savvy Millennial professionals.
So, are there any discernible trends in the
generation's preferences? According to
a National Gardening survey, 5 of every
6 Americans to take up gardening in a
year were between 18 and 34 years old
(NGS, 2016). When making purchasing
decisions, nearly three-out-of-four
Millennials are most willing to pay extra
for sustainable offerings (Nielson Global
Survey, 2016). Seventy-six percent of
Millennials consider a company's social
and environmental commitments before
deciding where to work (Global Furniture
Group, 2019). In a word, Millennial taste
is green.
So, interior designers and architects
for major companies are installing sustainable design elements in high-profile
LIVING ARCHITECTURE MONITOR / SUMMER 2019 / 18

locations at their properties. An article in the New York Times described the recent
real estate upgrade by footwear and apparel company ASICS in an attempt to attract
and retain the best shoe designers. In the employee break bar at a new downtown
Boston location, a Versa Wall® designed by GSky Plant Systems, Inc. sports the
company's logo. GSky's unique tray system sets individual four-inch pots in the wall
so plants of different shades can create the curving lines of a signature figure most
commonly seen on sneakers (Prevost, 2019). These plants can later be swapped out
to change the design and add a seasonal look to the wall. For other companies, the
medium of the living wall conveys much of the message with a more naturalistic
design. The National Geographic Society-a brand inextricably linked to the outdoors- greets visitors to their Washington, D.C. headquarters with a more straightforward living green wall.
Perhaps the most telling endorsement of the living green wall as a Millennial
magnet comes from technology corporations, including digital first companies like
Etsy, Mashable, and AWeber. Microsoft, Google, Twitter and others have a Versa
Wall® by GSky®.

BIOPHILIC DESIGN IMPROVES OFFICE PRODUCTIVITY

Green design is not simply a question of appearance. Plastic plants would be a
cheaper investment, but fake green walls miss the point for employees and even
disappoint. There is a growing body of scientific evidence that we are all genetically
inclined to be happier and healthier around live plants. Prominent biologist E.O.
Wilson argues that there is a genetic proclivity on the part of humanity to focus on
and affiliate with nature. The Biophilia Hypothesis, as it is termed, draws from the
fields of evolutionary biology and psychology for support. As a body of scholarly
work continues to grow, the various benefits of exposing people to nature become
clearer. For example, findings suggest that exposure to nature can induce positive
shifts in emotion, facilitate high-order cognitive functioning, and even increase
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Green Roofs - Living Architecture Monitor - Summer 2019

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Green Roofs - Living Architecture Monitor - Summer 2019

Table of Contents
Green Roofs - Living Architecture Monitor - Summer 2019 - IP
Green Roofs - Living Architecture Monitor - Summer 2019 - Cover
Green Roofs - Living Architecture Monitor - Summer 2019 - Cover 2
Green Roofs - Living Architecture Monitor - Summer 2019 - Table of Contents
Green Roofs - Living Architecture Monitor - Summer 2019 - A1
Green Roofs - Living Architecture Monitor - Summer 2019 - 1
Green Roofs - Living Architecture Monitor - Summer 2019 - 2
Green Roofs - Living Architecture Monitor - Summer 2019 - 3
Green Roofs - Living Architecture Monitor - Summer 2019 - 4
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Green Roofs - Living Architecture Monitor - Summer 2019 - M1
Green Roofs - Living Architecture Monitor - Summer 2019 - A2
Green Roofs - Living Architecture Monitor - Summer 2019 - A3
Green Roofs - Living Architecture Monitor - Summer 2019 - A4
Green Roofs - Living Architecture Monitor - Summer 2019 - A5
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