Adding some greenery to your office design is a great way to bring color into the space. Studies have shown that plants can improve employee productivity, decrease stress, and even reduce the number of sick days employees take.
However, if you are thinking about the challenges of maintaining plants in an office space, a hydroponic wall may be the answer. Zauben creates hydroponic Living Walls that are designed to be easy-to-maintain and eco-friendly. Let's take a look at the technology behind our living wall system.
What is Hydroponic Technology?
Hydroponic technology is a soilless way to grow plants and other vegetation both indoors and outdoors. The name comes from the Greek root 'hydro,' meaning water and 'ponos,' meaning work.
While it may sound like new technology, early examples of hydroponics can be found in the Hanging Gardens of Babylon and the Floating Gardens of China, which had water and oxygen pumping through elaborate irrigation systems.
Today, the method has been studied and innovated upon as a tool for urban gardening and a potential way to feed large urban populations using local produce. Modern technology has allowed the technology to produce plants that grow faster, healthier, and more nutritious while also saving space and providing a more sustainable method of gardening.
How Does Hydroponic Technology Work?
There are several types of hydroponic systems available, and the type of system your garden or living wall will use depends on the types of plants growing in the system. Regardless of what you're growing, the most important part of the system is the nutrient solution.
Hydroponic systems exist with mediums, such as perlite, and without mediums, but the key ingredient in each of the systems is the minerals used to aid the plant's growth. Both systems re-use water continuously so that it doesn't drain out and instead gets invested back into the plant's growth.
In the case of Zauben's Model Z Living Walls, the system consists of tropical plants grown in mineral wool with an irrigation system that recycles water to aid in the plant's health and growth.
Benefits of Hydroponic Technology
Hydroponic technology has several benefits that make it a desirable gardening system in many situations.
The National Parks Service states that hydroponic systems use as much as 10 times less water than a traditional field crop yield since the water is captured and reused rather than draining off into the environment. The plants can also be seen as locally grown or sourced since they can be grown almost anywhere. The plants also take up less space with many using vertical stacking systems.
One of the major reasons for planting hydroponic crops is a better plant yield when fruits, vegetables, and herbs are planted in the system. This is partly due to the fact that the system can be more densely packed than soil, and factors can be controlled down the most minute detail including the type of light, water level, soil nutrients, and pH.
What Companies Currently Use Hydroponic Technology?
Hydroponic technology is useful for more than just farming. Many large corporations have begun looking at how greenery can be used in the office, and this technology eliminates many of the concerns that come with maintaining living plants in a work environment.
The New York Times reported that many office buildings were looking at ways to blend indoor and outdoor office spaces in 2019. The trend has continued with companies finding ways to incorporate farms into their campus perks. Facebook and Kickstarter for example have created gardens on their corporate campuses after hearing about some of the studies that say exposure to nature is essential for employee productivity.
Companies like Google, Nike, and Ford have all installed living walls within their office spaces. Business Insider also reports that Slack, Ebay, and Amazon are installing living walls to attract millennials who have been shown to care about their health and wellness, and who value the natural benefits of plants in the workspace.
Some of the larger corporations have things like biospheres and large indoor gardens. However, if the budget your client is working with is smaller or they have less space, Zauben Living Walls can give them the same effect, providing all the benefits of greenery in the office without the multi-million dollar price tag.
Living Walls and Hydroponic Technology
Hydroponic technology is slowly being realized as an ideal way to make use of empty office buildings and spare rooms to create crops of fresh food and microgreens. However, even a system that isn't producing food can provide substantial benefits as a decorative element within office buildings.
Studies have shown that the presence of greenery in an office setting can make workers more productive and healthier, creating a more stable environment to get work done. Couple that with the way employees are rethinking the office, and creating a desirable space that employees want to come to should be the first priority in a new office design.
Living walls are a desirable addition to any office. A University of Exeter study found that employees were 15% more productive when lean office spaces are filled with plants. Another study concluded that horticultural therapy can help with anxiety and depression, and more have suggested that a healthy environment has been top of mind amongst employees since the pandemic began. Our Living Walls can be purchased with a plant care service that helps to keep the wall looking lush and beautiful. This twice-monthly service includes refilling water tanks, pruning, and overseeing plant growth. This ensures that your plants will get plenty of TLC, and your system will be constantly checked for efficiency.
Start Using Hydroponic Technology in Your Offices
When you think about a Living Wall's energy efficiency, coupled with the studies around bringing nature indoors, it seems that now is the perfect time to incorporate a Living Wall into your next design project. Order a Model Z Living Wall from Zauben to give your clients an on-trend, self-sustaining design element in their office. Invest in a sustainable Living Wall with the confidence of a 30-day trial and an industry-leading warranty.
Don't forget to add a plant care subscription for more hassle-free maintenance.