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Screens and barriers are becoming an ever-present factor in our daily lives. One-way systems and area segregation are making the atria of shops, office blocks and public buildings look like airport security, and sneeze screens are turning the cubicles of previously open plan offices into fish tanks.

But while excellent progress is being made with the UK coronavirus vaccination programme, it’s likely that screens will be with us for the foreseeable future.

So how do facilities departments, store managers and businesses reassure customers, visitors and staff with appropriate distancing and protective measures, but at the same time preserve a welcoming and relaxing ambience?

  • Planters can be used to create temporary queueing and one-way systems
  • Plants can be used to frame acrylic screens at service points to reduce the expanse of bare acrylic
  • Climbing plants and living walls (very on-trend) can very effectively partition areas

All of these options can be supplied as fixed or moveable, temporary or permanent features.

Plants With Benefits

Introducing plants into interior environments can also have beneficial effects on health. There is, of course, the boost they give to psychological wellbeing, but as a well-documented study by NASA revealed, plants can play a useful part in purifying air quality by filtering out toxins.

Sadly, in spite of the hopes of many and the claims of a few, plants cannot kill coronavirus. But that doesn’t mean to say that they have no use. Research conducted by the Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research revealed that viruses thrive in low-humidity environments.

This makes the modern office, with the combined effects of air conditioning, computers and printers constantly removing moisture from the air, a prime breeding ground for the virus.

The water that plants need to survive also humidifies the surrounding area, with the soil or material used to provide their nutrients acting like a permanent reservoir, and the plants themselves are a good barometer of soil humidity.

If you would like to create a safer but more welcoming space in your atrium, reception area, office, boardroom or public space, contact Aztec Plants for professional advice on designing and maintaining fixed and mobile barriers and screens, and the best plants for promoting mental wellbeing.

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