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Amazon builds office “greenhouses” with concrete flooring

At e-retailer Amazon’s Seattle, Washington headquarters, three large glass dome structures have been built. Inside are 40,000 plants that grow above the concrete flooring.

The 60-foot inside walls are covered in over 200 species of green plants. During the night the temperature of the spheres drops to 55°F with humidity up to 85% to protect the plants. During working hours, the temperature rises to a comfortable 72°Fand 60% humidity. Heating comes from a nearby Amazon data centre and runs through pipes embedded in the concrete flooring.

If it is very hot outside, the glass panels reflect the heat so that the inside of the building does not get too warm, but the glass is designed to allow light through for plant growth.

The spheres are constructed from steel and glass and resemble greenhouses. The mixture of plant walls and concrete floors provide a contrast between nature and a modern office environment.

The plants are designed to have a calming effect on workers and provide an inspiration for innovative ideas. There are no conference rooms or traditional desks; meetings are held in open spaces next to the green plants. There are plenty of chairs in the building for Amazon workers to sit on.

Many modern offices have concrete flooring and walls that are highly efficient, but to add a touch of nature, a few plants can help change the atmosphere. Amazon has taken this to another level, demonstrating that 40,000 plants can dramatically change the working environment.

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