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Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.

Robert Louis Stevenson

Client: Kier Construction

Install Date: 2013

Biotecture’s impressive 93m2 atrium green wall for the British Gas owner, Centrica’s, new Oxford headquarters was an integrated element of the ambitious sustainability aims for the building; the green wall, which reaches three storeys up, contributed to the building’s BREEAM rating of 'Excellent', acting as acoustic buffer and a natural filter to improve air quality.

Project Details

The planting design for Centrica’s green wall is reminiscent of the iconic British Gas flame logo and features statement plants, including Begonia  ‘Curley Fireflush’ and Begonia ‘Fireworks’, set within a dense background matrix of compact Pileas and Peperonia.

In addition to playing a significant role in air quality, a green wall on this scale creates real benefits to staff well-being, a phenomenon known as biophilia. Research by the University of Exeter at the 2013 Chelsea Flower Show showed that a workspace enhanced with plants can increase well-being by 47%, increase creativity by 45% and increase productivity by 38%.

Highlights
  • Situated in the central Atrium of the building
  • Atrium Green Wall location selected to be visible from as many work spaces in the building as possible
  • Wave shaped planting plan to resemble the British Gas flame logo
  • 93m2 of living wall with in excess of 5,500 plants
  • Improving air quality in the office space

Our Approach

Biotecture’s patented hydroponic system allows for each row of modules to drain individually and not onto other modules below. This is unique to Biotecture’s green wall system. The advantages are that Biotecture can precisely control moisture levels throughout the wall and ensure that on taller walls, such as Centrica’s atrium wall, nutrient levels don’t aggregate, which can cause chemical burn to leaves.

British Gas were so excited and impressed by their new living wall in the office at Centrica that they also commissioned Biotecture to install a living wall in the reception area of the Centrica office in Windsor.

The staff and management of British Gas believe it is their best building, and many staff members bring in clients to showcase the sustainable aspects of the building. The workforce is inspired, and we are told they find it a great step up from their previous work environment.

Ken Giannini Principal, Scott Brownrigg
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