Green Meeting Rooms

Tijmen Hartung, Désiree Oudenaarden, Irania Wefer, Na Zang en Peipei Wei

Diverse opleidingen | Inholland Delft

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Green walls and plants in the office means less people call in sick. This is the conclusion of a study by Tijmen Hartung, Désiree Oudenaarden, Irania Wefer, Na Zang and Peipei Wei, students of the programmes Double Degree Horticulture and Agribusiness and the Animal and Livestock and Landscape and Environment Management. Tijmen: “Our main goal was to see how we can increase employee’s productivity.”

Their client is the municipality of Rotterdam. At Inholland Delft the students transformed a room into a green room. They decorated the room with plants and painted the walls green. They researched the effect this has on productivity and health.

What did you investigate?
“The research focused on the effect of a green interior in meeting rooms. Sustainability also plays a big role in this through positive regulation of oxygen, temperature, air purification and air humidity. We discovered that adding plants and a green color to a meeting room makes students and teachers feel more comfortable, more relaxed and less stressed. Our research also showed that it reduces the risk of disease.”

Why did you choose to investigate this?
“With the Green Juniors project we were able to choose from 18 subjects. This subject immediately appealed to us. Most offices are not healthy. There are not enough plants and the CO2 content is too high. Research has shown that a green interior improves health, but also productivity. That’s why we believe that adding greenery to meeting rooms is important when designing buildings. This is a creative way to give people a better working space. As a consequence less people call in sick.”

What’s important when designing a green interior?
“The plant variety is important in the design. We choose plants with green leaves. If you choose plants with pollen, then there is a chance that people are allergic. Furthermore, the plants can’t be in the way. Enough windows are also a requirement.”

In your project group you work together with students from China, Curaçao and Holland. How did this ‘international’ cooperation work?
“Great! The students from China take the Double Degree Horticulture and Agribusiness. This program is a collaboration between Inholland and two universities in China. There weren’t a lot of problems. Instead, we learned a lot about each other’s culture and way of working. Chinese students are very diligent and are great at multitasking. The biggest difference wasn’t between our cultures, but between the different courses. Everyone has their own expertise. A benefit!”

How did you personally develop, Tijmen?
“I’ve learned to look at my own way of working from a different perspective. The last three years I’ve learned and adapted a certain work method. Seeing other students from different programs, I discovered other strategies. With better results.”

What does the future of your project look like?
“With this award we van try to attract more attention. It’s a unique opportunity for Inholland to turn Delft into a true green location. Therefore we want to continue this project. Our aim is for all Inholland employees to have ‘green meetings’ in the future. I want to invest the prize money in a test room where we can also test other materials, such as standing tables and other plant species. A lot to come still!”