Written by Greg Minotti – Just Add Plants
Over the past 20 years, the humble workspace in many commercial environments has changed greatly, impacting on many industries included indoor plant hire. The way in which we see indoor plants and greenery in office surroundings has evolved a new level of thinking and innovation to common plant hire design and installation.
Commercial building design has gradually shifted towards more compact, space-saving layouts where every square metre is considered in the overall planning picture. Maximising the ability to allocate more employees to a work environment has large financial benefits to the bottom line. These changes have seen actual desk space decrease dramatically, as well as storage areas, general amenities and common area locations including aisles and access areas.
As architects continue to create a new world where small, compact workspaces are standard in new commercial buildings, the inclusion of plants is still an important focus. The use of built-in planter boxes attached to Tambour units is now commonplace within the office workplace. With no additional floor space being taken up, these units provide abundant, repetitious greenery to all office surroundings.
With office space reducing, the plant hire industry has had to plan and adapt to ‘think outside the box’ where plants in the workspace will be in the future. With actual ‘floor’ space limited for planters, wall and ceiling space is the new frontier in which to apply greenery. Vertical Green Walls, wall hangers and hanging baskets with lush green foliage have established a totally new opportunity within many businesses. The enormous growth in these new applications of indoor plants has shown the potential to a whole new market.
Vertical Green Walls – a classic example of adding greenery to limited space situations is through the ability to use available wall space. The popularity of green walls in recent years has seen an abundance of different brands, styles and forms on the market. Like general plant maintenance for indoor plants, vertical green walls require more frequent attention and ensure both sufficient light and regular watering is achieved. In regard to plant varieties, this can be very much trial and error, depending on the situation, but most hardy indoor plant varieties will adapt to a green wall environment.
Hanging Baskets – the ability to use the ceiling in an office situation, can provide variations of height and bring greenery much closer to the people around them. Large sized hangers can create impact with the use of the right plant, especially when trailing varieties are utilised.
Mini-Planters – the reduction in actual desk space, with more compact workstations being established, has left the traditional size tabletop planter with no room. Planters using a general 200mm grow pot were a common inclusion to many office areas 10 years ago, but the lack of available desk space has directed use to much smaller sized planters. ‘Mini-Planters’, suitable for 130/125 or 140mm grow pots can be installed to a desk or other office areas without taking up valuable space, while still providing harmonious and visual appeal.
Space-saving Planters – traditional larger, wider shaped planters for commercial indoor use have mostly disappeared, replaced by an array of narrow, slender unique plant container designers all focused on space saving. Troughs, round, square, oval and other innovative shaped planters with various new colours and finishes incorporate the modern office workspace like never before.
Since taking over our business 3 years ago I have seen these changes in market demand first hand. For the past 12 months, we have revised and consolidated our range to establish the right business products for our customer’s needs. It is during this time we have moved with the market and introduced a green wall system, hanging basket planters, new shaped planters for space saving and soon to be released our unique range of Mini-Planters in 14 colours. These inclusions will provide our customers with more choice and assist them in making product selection decisions for the right application.
While in business I have come to work around one simple phrase, ‘Change before you have to because change brings opportunity.’ As trends and influences in our market evolve, it is always an exciting time to see what is just around the corner.
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Just Add Plants