Going green how modern atriums benefit the workplace jm electrical company inc

Going Green: How Modern Atriums Benefit the Workplace



A recent study conducted by Harvard reaffirmed the positive impact that bringing the outdoors in has at work and at home. According to the research, green-certified offices, which utilize plants to enliven the work setting, boost cognition by 26%, reduce sick days by 30% and increase sleep quality by 6%.

Clearly, the benefits of green office features are far reaching. Developers and architects frequently use atriums and other green features in their design plans based on their ability to circulate light and ventilation into the interior of buildings. A modern example of this centuries-long trend recently garnered attention thanks to Amazon and its launch of “Spheres” – giant glass and steel dome structures filled with tropical plants that serve as new work environments for its Seattle-based employees.

Building a 90-foot-tall, multifaceted environment like this takes skill, know-how and creativity. In order to reflect the tropical weather associated with Central America, heat is recycled through a data-center complex that radiates throughout the site’s three towers, and then piped into the concrete floor. Cool-air vents, masked as fake logs, are located in areas where plants are clustered. And custom interior lights adjust automatically in response to changes in the weather.

Across the country, the City of Boston has its own rich history of integrating atriums into its buildings. The Boston Exchange Coffee House and Hotel, which opened in 1809 on Congress Street, is often cited as the country’s first modern hotel and the first to incorporate an indoor garden environment into its design. The five-story atrium was the center of the hotel, ringed by balconies and enclosed in a large glass paneled dome.

Today, several new Boston developments will be implementing modernized atriums as well. Here are a few noteworthy local projects:

  1. One project that has just received approval for its proposed revitalization is 135 Morrissey, at the site of the Boston Globe’s former headquarters. The project proposal includes a new entrance featuring a multi-story atrium space, which will act as the building’s hub, the perfect setting for collaborative meeting spaces. The entire front façade will include floor-to-ceiling glass walls, allowing natural light to brighten the building. This space will also be open to the public during work hours.

  2. An atrium addition at 100 Federal Street in the Financial District, which has been underway for the past year, will contain an 8,990-square-foot year-round garden, as well as retail and kiosk space.  All of the daylight brought into the building will significantly decrease energy costs, and proper heating and ventilation systems will help maintain plant life.

  3. There have been several high profile additions to the burgeoning Kendall Square area that currently spotlight atriums. For instance, the newly opened 380,000 square foot lab and office property at 75-125 Binney Street, in the dynamic hub of the country’s premier biotech and IT industries, features a dramatic spiral staircase within a five-story, all-season atrium. Likewise, a six-story atrium also conjoins the neighborhood’s impressive state-of-the-art life science space located at the Cambridge Science Center as well as a revitalization of Carter's Ink Building at 245 First Street. And, finally, Google’s Cambridge office features an atrium between 5 and 3 Cambridge Center, with a glass-walled connector that includes public and retail space.

  4. On the opposite side of the city, and just a short walk from the Alewife transit station in North Cambridge, the Charles River Analytics headquarters at 625 Mount Auburn Street underwent a renovation and now includes on-site parking, a fitness center and a cafe in addition to a two-story atrium lobby.

  5. In addition to textbook interior courtyards, other large open spaces in Boston developments are capturing the spirit of these gardens. For example, the Winthrop Square Garage project – which just recently broke ground – will feature a 12,000-square-foot public space.  The Great Hall will span the building’s first three floors and will contain restaurant, retail and meeting space.

Here at JM Electrical, we have outfitted our new office with a number of exotic plants and are considering building a plant wall as part of our efforts to create a modern, collaborative work environment. We are hopeful that this will encourage creativity and teamwork within our staff.  With plants enhancing the workplace – from improving mental health to saving energy – developments across the country are wise to “think green” when designing new spaces.


Contributor Bio




JM Electrical Co., Inc. was established over 30 years ago by Paul A. Guarracino who wanted to provide the highest level of quality service to the commercial electrical contracting market. Over the years, this commitment to service along with highly experienced and dedicated personnel has allowed our company to grow its customer base and make significant contributions to major projects in the Greater Boston area.


Today, JM Electrical enjoys a reputation as an industry leader in installing building automation systems and HVAC controls. JM Electrical possesses the technical expertise to assist our customers in executing all projects from selection to installation of the most sophisticated and cost-effective building management systems.


JM Electrical Company, Inc. >>

Related News

10 Boston Development Moves to Watch in 2018
Jan 03, 2018 - After several years of what is possibly the biggest building boom in...
Combating Traffic Congestion: The City of Boston’s Innovative Solutions
Oct 19, 2017 - The last time you were stuck in traffic, you probably wondered if con...
The Boston Housing Market’s Battle of Amenities
Sep 24, 2017 - The ongoing growth of the Boston development market has spurre...
The Hidden Systems Keeping You Cool
Jul 19, 2018 - As the summer heats up, many New England residents find themselves re...
The 8 Most Unique Open Space Locations in Boston
Jan 30, 2018 - As Boston experiences its biggest building boom in decades, public sp...
Sports Stadiums: Rebuilding Local Neighborhoods, Enhancing Local Economies
Nov 16, 2017 - For years, building sports stadiums – particularly in urban ar...
Boston Development’s Edge in the Life Science Market
Jul 25, 2017 - Earlier this summer, Governor Baker doubled down on the state’s treme...
Boston Named Top Summer Vacation Destination
Jun 21, 2018 - Recently, US News World Report reported that Boston was named the top su...
Massachusetts Building Code Updates' Impact on Local Development
Jul 10, 2017 - Recently, the state Department of Public Safety (DPS) announced that ...
These Top Tech Companies Continue to Call Boston Home
May 11, 2018 - Amazon's enhanced presence in Greater Boston and the possibility it w...
In Addition to the Seaport, These Boston Neighborhoods are Flourishing
Apr 20, 2018 - At nearly 1,000 acres, and with $18 billion in public money invested,...
Learning and Community: Colleges Moving Towards Flexible Spaces
Mar 22, 2018 - Colleges and universities around the country are working with a new b...
Imagine Boston 2030: Walsh’s Impact on the Future of the City
Aug 21, 2017 - As the Boston Globe recently observed, the awarding of the 202...
With Housing Prices Rising, Developers May Be Under Increasing Pressure to Address Affordable Housing Need
Jun 21, 2017 - As housing prices skyrocket and more and more neighborhoods become ge...
Trump Budget Proposal: What it Means for Development Projects in 2017
Apr 14, 2017 - Many millennials and other young people walking through Somerville’s ...
JM Electrical’s Top 10 Buildings in Boston
Aug 21, 2018 - Recently, Boston Magazine published an
Top Construction Jobs – September 2018
Sep 21, 2018 - According to recent studies from 
Fall Back 2018 & Winter Weatherization
Oct 16, 2018 - Fall is officially upon us, bringing colorful leaves, cooler weather ...