Design Tips for Campus Green SpacesAndrea Lewis
Campus green spaces are impactful areas for students and staff, offering places where they work and socialize. Understanding how to implement quality green spaces on your campus can help you meet your community’s needs.
Why Are Green Spaces So Important on Campuses?
Campuses are flexible spaces that offer several services to their students, professors and faculty. While the primary purpose is to learn and earn a degree, people might also use the space for:
- Eating: Many students eat in dining halls between classes or before returning to their dorms. When the weather is nice, they can find spots around campus to enjoy their meal and the beautiful architecture and environment you have created.
- Socializing: Students gather in many places on campus. Social life is a significant aspect of university and campus life. Schools promote clubs and organizations to connect potential students with welcoming communities — many students will choose a school because of its social atmosphere. Outdoor spaces are important areas where students meet and interact with friends.
- Exercising: Healthy spaces promote good habits in students and community members. Outdoor areas with good circulation and space allow people to walk, run and even do yoga. With green spaces, your campus can become the green space people need to relax their minds and bodies.
- Waiting: Commuters and faculty make up large groups of campus individuals. They might choose to stay on campus between classes or meetings because they save time than traveling home and back. Green spaces provide these individuals a place to enjoy campus life while waiting for the next class or activity on their schedule.
- Teaching and grading: Teachers at universities and colleges have a little more freedom on where they host their classes. On nice days, it’s not uncommon to see seminars and meetings held outside.
Green spaces help your campus become a flexible area that serves all communities. Whether clubs need a space to gather or individuals need a place to work or rest, your green spaces will serve everyone on campus.
Nature and green spaces also reduce stress and inspire reflection. Plants and nature offer a calming, quiet atmosphere that lets students and faculty slow down and process their emotions. When the stress of classes and their social lives gets overwhelming, your green spaces can help students recover.
How to Design Green Spaces on Your Campus
If you are looking for some college green space design ideas, starting may be easier than expected. Follow these tips to develop strong, functional green areas on your campus:
1. Prioritize Flexibility
When designing green spaces on campus, focus on flexible spaces to ensure your students and staff get the most out of them. Many campuses have distinct function areas, like academic buildings that serve a particular discipline. However, students and professors need spaces they can change to fit their needs, whatever those may be.
As you develop your green spaces, you can ensure flexibility in many ways. Leave lots of open space for people to adjust the area, whether that includes moving tables and chairs to accommodate a larger group or offering a quiet place to grade papers. Offering various furniture also helps your green spaces become more flexible.
2. Consider Existing Spaces
If you want to add more green spaces to your campus, you can save money by transforming the areas you already have. You may have spaces between academic buildings or dorms that you already purchased and take care to maintain. Convert these areas into functional spaces that meet your campus’s needs by adding benches or tables that encourage students and staff to stop and rest.
3. Maintain Good Circulation
Green spaces and campuses should have a practical design that encourages a natural flow of movement. Whether you have a central lawn open for student use or picnic tables surrounded by planters, you want to direct traffic in a way that naturally moves students and staff through your campus and prevents bottlenecks.
When planning green spaces, be sure to organize them so that they also support your campus’s circulation. Place benches along walkways, though ensure you still have room for passing foot traffic. Offer tables in areas with low and high activity to encourage different purposes. Structure pathways to direct people to your green spaces without disrupting the function of the area.
3 Types of Furniture for Outdoor College Areas
When developing green areas for your college campus, the furniture you choose can aid its function and flexibility.
Benches are excellent flexible outdoor furniture options for your campus. Many colleges use this option because you can select the style and color, allowing them to aid your campus’s aesthetic and school colors. Designed for outdoor use, they are durable, allowing them to withstand various weather conditions and extended periods exposed to the sun. Your campus can use benches to:
- Rest and reflect
- Enjoy the weather and campus
2. Picnic Tables
Picnic tables provide spaces for students and staff to sit, eat, study and socialize on campus. Because they offer a surface where students can place items, students can transform them to fit their needs. Grouping tables together offers increased functionality and flexibility, allowing students to group tables for larger study groups or meals — and professors might use available tables to host classes outdoors.
Like benches, these tables come in several styles and colors. Use these outdoor furniture pieces to create a specific look for your school. Pair them with umbrellas for increased weather and sun protection for students, ensuring they continue to use your green spaces whenever they need them.
3. Dining Sets
Dining sets are similar to picnic tables but come with seats designed specifically for that table. This furniture type ensures both style and comfort. Your set will have a consistent look, while your manufacturer will have designed the seat height for that table. Buying your seats and tables together is a more cost-effective option for many schools, allowing you to remain within budget or allocate funds to other green spaces.
Explore Outdoor Furniture for Your Campus With Bramsford Outdoor Furnishings
Much of designing college green spaces is placing the right furniture for your students and staff to use when they need them. Whether you strategically place benches along walkways or create open areas with tables for outdoor eating and study spaces, the furniture you choose will strengthen your green spaces.
When investing in new outdoor furniture, you will want to partner with the right organizations. Bramsford Outdoor Furnishings is a trusted outdoor furniture dealer, connecting you with quality, durable furnishings that will add to your campus green spaces. We offer several colors and styles for each product, so choose the look that best fits your campus.
Browse our furniture options today and discover how Bramsford Outdoor Furnishings can help you transform your outdoor spaces on campus.