If you had to rank high-rise amenities from most to least important, where would a lush, leafy lobby land on your list? Hopefully not too high, because according to The New York Times, a lot of developers and building managers are doing away with indoor pots and planters.
And what would a story about construction and landscaping be without a mention of green building?
That owners and tenants are installing fewer plants while generally supporting trends for more environmentally friendly buildings seems like a contradiction to M. J. Gilhooley, the program coordinator for the eight-year-old Green Plants for Green Buildings, an advocacy group based in Loveland, Ohio.
Ms. Gilhooley, whose group was initially financed by the landscaping industry, acknowledged that the most salable aspect of indoor plants was their ability to beautify spaces. But, she said, referencing a range of scientific studies, they can also make workers more attentive, absent less and more productive. Spiky-leafed bamboo palms, for one, are known to absorb potentially harmful formaldehyde emitted by certain woods and insulations, she said.
Yet, the United States Green Building Council, which promotes eco-friendly construction through its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design benchmarks, or LEED, which developers must meet to be certified, does not award points for indoor plants.
“The meat and potatoes of green buildings are usually what you can’t see,” said Russell Unger, the executive director of the council’s New York chapter.
Just another thing to keep in mind when you’re considering a high-rise home or breaking down a building’s assessments.