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Article

Andrew J. Smith, Andrew Fsadni and Gary Holt

The use of indoor living plants for enhancement of indoor relative humidity and the general environment of a large, modern, open plan office building are studied using a…

Abstract

Purpose

The use of indoor living plants for enhancement of indoor relative humidity and the general environment of a large, modern, open plan office building are studied using a mixed-methods paradigm.

Design/methodology/approach

The quantitative element involved designated experimental and control zones within the building, selected using orientation, user density and users’ work roles criteria. For a period of six months, relative humidity was monitored using data loggers at 30 min intervals, and volatile organic compounds were measured using air sampling. Qualitative “perception data” of the building’s users were collected via a structured questionnaire survey among both experimental and control zones.

Findings

Study findings include that living plants did not achieve the positive effect on relative humidity predicted by (a-priori) theoretical calculations and that building users’ perceived improvements to indoor relative humidity, temperature and background noise levels were minimal. The strongest perceived improvement was for work environment aesthetics. Findings demonstrate the potential of indoor plants to reduce carbon emissions of the [as] built environment through elimination or reduction of energy use and capital-intensive humidification air-conditioning systems.

Originality/value

The study’s practical value lies in its unique application of (mainly laboratory-derived) existing theory in a real-life work environment.

Details

Facilities, vol. 35 no. 9/10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-2772

Keywords

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Article

Hsioh‐yu Hou

The agricultural resources of China vary with its differentgeographic regions. China is divided into six geographic regions and theclimate, flora and fauna of each are…

Abstract

The agricultural resources of China vary with its different geographic regions. China is divided into six geographic regions and the climate, flora and fauna of each are described, together with the ecological relationship between them. Suggestions are given of how best to exploit, utilise and protect these resources.

Details

International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 18 no. 8/9/10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

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Book part

Ana Cristina Tavares, Susana Silva and Teresa Bettencourt

Science Education Outdoors provides students with direct contact with natural phenomena and enables active learning, a key factor in Inquiry Based Science Education…

Abstract

Science Education Outdoors provides students with direct contact with natural phenomena and enables active learning, a key factor in Inquiry Based Science Education (IBSE), a student-centred methodology for the acquisition, construction and understanding of knowledge.

This chapter will describe three case studies which used the IBSE methodology as both a teaching and learning methodology, promoting a deeper understanding of how IBSE can contribute to the success of learning and teaching in outdoor settings.

The three case studies were based on three training courses conducted at the Botanical Garden of the University of Coimbra (BGUC, Portugal). The first case study was the annual regular course for garden educators, and the other two were the two editions of the COInquire professional and accreditation training course for teachers and educators. Involving a total of 70 participants, data was collected through the application of questionnaires.

The study revealed that all participants considered IBSE a successful teaching–learning process and they remarked the opportunities created for the active construction of new knowledge. Strengthened by numerous live educational resources, the use of IBSE in the garden facilitated the questioning and interpretation of nature, supporting the open-minded and well-founded training of teachers, educators and students.

Additionally, the participants considered IBSE to be an effective methodology to boost their professional improvement, contributing to the development of innovative approaches to the curricular programmes on biodiversity and sustainability.

Details

Inquiry-Based Learning for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (Stem) Programs: A Conceptual and Practical Resource for Educators
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-850-2

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Book part

Arch G. Woodside

The long interview is an intensive questioning of informants selected for their special knowledge, experiences and insights (or ignorance) of the topic under study. The…

Abstract

Synopsis

The long interview is an intensive questioning of informants selected for their special knowledge, experiences and insights (or ignorance) of the topic under study. The objectives of the long interview include learning the thinking, feeling, and doing processes of the informants, including an understanding of the informants' worldviews of the topic under study in their own language. The chapter compares the strengths and weaknesses of the long interview to other primary data collection methods. The chapter describes a research application of the long interview in integrated marketing. The study was designed to (a) learn about the rich complexities in the lives of household gardeners buying and using seeds plants after responding to direct marketing appeals and (b) resolve two conflicting “theories-in-use” of how and why different customer types purchase products. These competing theories were proposed by different executives in the firm sponsoring the study. The development and critical testing of competing theories-in-use are described. This chapter reports a study to learn the behavior of five customer types. The results include thick descriptions of the processes of buying and using seeds and plants purchased through direct marketing offers and store visits.

Details

Case Study Research
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-461-4

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Article

Irene Finch

What exactly is fibre? A chemical approach to this question is not only unsound but also incomprehensible. Fibre is best thought of, quite simply, as the cell walls of…

Abstract

What exactly is fibre? A chemical approach to this question is not only unsound but also incomprehensible. Fibre is best thought of, quite simply, as the cell walls of plants, which contain all the other nutrients. It is one thing to say this, but quite another to understand it. People who have not seen cells and cell walls with their own eyes cannot understand in the same way, though really good photographs will help.

Details

Nutrition & Food Science, vol. 87 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0034-6659

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Article

Whether we take the cynical view that interior landscape has arrived from the US on the coat‐tails of the atrium, or, more optimistically, see its proliferation as…

Abstract

Whether we take the cynical view that interior landscape has arrived from the US on the coat‐tails of the atrium, or, more optimistically, see its proliferation as evidence of greater environmental sensitivity, there is no doubt that interior plants pose special problems for the facilities manager. A senior interior landscape architect, Stephen Scrivens, advises.

Details

Facilities, vol. 2 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-2772

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Article

Mike Kennerley and Andy Neely

Describes a study that set out to evaluate the performance impact of a SAP R3 implementation. The SAP system was implemented by a major multinational business in four of…

Abstract

Describes a study that set out to evaluate the performance impact of a SAP R3 implementation. The SAP system was implemented by a major multinational business in four of its European plants. Qualitative and quantitative data were collected over a two‐year period, through surveys and interviews with systems users and by accessing company records. While users were able to identify the operational benefits of SAP, they were still doubtful at the end of the evaluation process whether the system had resulted in any significant positive financial benefits for the business. Two themes related to this observation are explored. First the time lag between operational improvements and subsequent financial impact. Second the importance of learning as a means of reducing the time lag. Learning in this context is a multi‐dimensional concept and covers learning how to use the system, learning how to improve the system and learning how to improve the implementation process.

Details

Integrated Manufacturing Systems, vol. 12 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0957-6061

Keywords

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Article

Lijuan Cao, Tianxiang Li, Rongbo Wang and Jing Zhu

The outbreak of the novel COVID-19 virus has spread throughout the world, causing unprecedented disruption to not only China's agricultural trade but also the world's…

Abstract

Purpose

The outbreak of the novel COVID-19 virus has spread throughout the world, causing unprecedented disruption to not only China's agricultural trade but also the world's agricultural trade at large. This paper attempts to provide a preliminary analysis of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on China's agricultural importing and exporting from both short- and long-term perspectives.

Design/methodology/approach

This study seeks to analyze how the outbreak of COVID-19 could potentially impact China's agricultural trade. With respect to exports, the authors have pinpointed major disruptive factors arising from the pandemic which have affected China's agricultural exports in both the short and long term; in doing so, we employ scenario analysis which simulates potential long-term effects. With regard to imports, possible impacts of the pandemic regarding the prospects of food availability in the world market are investigated. Using scenario analysis, the authors estimate the potential change in China's food market—especially meat import growth—in light of the implementation of the newly signed Sino-US Economic and Trade Agreement (SUETA).

Findings

The results show that China's agricultural exports have been negatively impacted in the short-term, mostly due to the disruption of the supply chain. In the long term, dampened external demand and potential imposition of non-tariff trade barriers (NTBs) will exert more profound and lasting negative effects on China's agricultural export trade. On the other hand, despite panic buying and embargoing policies from some exporting and importing countries, the world food availability and China's food import demand are still optimistic. The simulation results indicate that China's import of pork products, in light of COVID-19 and the implementation of SUETA, would most likely see a sizable climb in quantity, but a lesser climb in terms of value.

Originality/value

Agricultural trade in China has been a focal-point of attention in recent years, with new challenges slowing exports and increasing dependence on imports for food security. The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic adds significant uncertainty to agricultural trade, giving rise to serious concerns regarding its potential impact. By exploring the impact of the unprecedented pandemic on China's agricultural trade, this study should contribute to a better understanding of the still-evolving pandemic and shed light on pertinent policy implications.

Details

China Agricultural Economic Review, vol. 13 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-137X

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Book part

Michael R. Edelstein

Bill Freudenburg’s concept of recreancy is used as a frame for explaining processes that perpetuate questionable regimes of emergency response planning. The specific…

Abstract

Bill Freudenburg’s concept of recreancy is used as a frame for explaining processes that perpetuate questionable regimes of emergency response planning. The specific instance of tar sands upgrading in Alberta, Canada, is used as a case in point. When recreancy is institutionalized so that the results correlate across permitted hazardous facilities, it must be concluded that recreancy is less of a situational response than a normative dynamic.

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Article

Andrew Smith, Matthew Tucker and Michael Pitt

The purpose of this paper is to investigate office users' perceptions of their working environment in relation to the addition of plants.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate office users' perceptions of their working environment in relation to the addition of plants.

Design/methodology/approach

Office users' perceptions were examined using a survey, administered to an experimental group and a control group before and after the installation of plants. The results were analysed to determine any statistically significant differences between the two groups and between the pre‐ and post‐test surveys for the experimental group. Absence data were analysed to establish any changes in absence rates.

Findings

Significant differences were found between the experimental and control groups for the work environment contributing to pressure, health concerns, morale and preference for plants. There were also perceived improvements in productivity, pressure, privacy and comfort although these were non‐significant. Sickness absence reduced substantially in the area with plants and increased slightly in the control area.

Research limitations/implications

It would be useful to extend this research over a longer time frame and in a greater range of buildings to validate the results.

Practical implications

By providing well‐designed workplaces, including living plants, organizations can potentially improve employee perceptions, leading to performance gains and reduced absence. This paper suggests that significant savings can be achieved in comparison to the cost of plants.

Originality/value

The role of indoor nature has received relatively little attention compared to the number of studies on outdoor nature. Additionally, this paper applies the research to a real working environment as opposed to experimental designs, which have formed the majority of previous studies.

Details

Facilities, vol. 29 no. 5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-2772

Keywords

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