Green buildings contribute to physical health and well-being by improving environmental quality and reducing natural resource consumption. Now, thanks to a growing body of research, such as a study conducted by the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health’s Center for Health and the Global Environment, we know that green office buildings, compared to conventional buildings, positively affect occupants’ cognitive as well as physical abilities.
The cognitive benefits include increased productivity, more focused activity levels and improved decision-making performance. This study shows that, in addition to the environmental benefits, green building plays another important role in our lives: it makes us happier, more productive people.
Green building is based on scientifically researched areas such as biophilic theory; biophilic design, by extension, is an evidence-based approach that incorporates restorative aspects of the natural landscape into our built environments. This research-driven design is a principle behind Hope and Will’s Room, a playroom showcasing how spaces impact our health, which was on display in the Southeast Design Showroom, hosted by Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles, in Atlanta earlier this year.
The room included research supported attributes for improved health. Red, green and blue dots were scattered around the room, each color corresponding to a collaborator’s health attributes. The dots, a digital slide show and signage at the entrance of the room communicated the array of research-driven design strategies implemented into the space. A green wall for an area of personal restoration integrated biophilic attributes, and Red-List-Free and Low-VOC finishes minimized the home owner’s exposure to harsh chemicals.
Southface extends thanks to the Atlanta branch of Foliage Design Systems for donating the plants for the Living Wall and Wooly Wall Planters for the wall pockets. The Atlanta branch of Foliage Design Systems has been designing Living Walls since 1999, and their walls come equipped with irrigation.
“We decided to get involved in this project initially to promote our business and the growing interest in green walls, both commercially and in the residential market,” says Scott Jones, Vice President and General Manager. “Learning that the room was named after the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta’s Hope and Will mascots strengthened our resolve to donate. Coincidentally, we currently care for the Hope and Will Garden located at the CHOA campus. Therefore, being able to donate to such a worthy cause, as well as being able to give back to one of our long-standing customers, was a welcomed opportunity.”
Southface also appreciates the other donors to the project, including Mohawk and Bonitz for the carpet and installation; Romabio for the paint; Koroseal and B&R Paint for the dry erase wall covering; Brycedius Sam, ART & Associates, and Conner Wallcovering, Inc. for the mural; Eutree and Been Framed, LLC for the wood walls; Digital Interiors, Inc. for the television; White Glove Storage & Delivery for the furniture install; and Rabaut Design Associates Studio for the accessories. Thank you, also, to the furniture loaned to the project by Illuminations, Melissa Monk/Map Contract, Coalesse, Tecnosedia & Schumacher, Steve McKenzie and JMac Group.