It is well known there is strong scientific evidence of the multiple positive impacts of plants to a living and work space.
Plants reduce CO2 and VOC levels while enhancing O2 levels and this goes a long way to explain why plants deliver significant health benefits to people at work and have been shown to increase productivity by up to 15%.
Not only do plants have an intrinsic aesthetic appeal in commercial interiors, they can also play practical roles, such as dividing spaces or improving acoustics. Plants are increasingly important in interior design and we’re delighted to have had our work recognisedin the Architecture Now Awards, 2016.
Outside, plants improve urban air quality, a practical and visible way for property owners to exhibit green credentials for assisting in building approvals and increase saleability of the development for increased profits. Providing plantscapes is also a way for businesses to play a role in addressing climate change and delivery of the buildings environmental performance.
Across the world, external green walls like the one GreenAir created in Glen Eden, are working to improve urban air quality.
With local and World Health Organisation reports showing residents in New Zealand’s largest cities experience similar levels of particulate and nitrogen dioxide levels to people in polluted international cities (17 NZ centres rank in new global air quality report, Central-city pollution nears WHO limits – NZ Herald) improving urban air quality is increasingly important in preventing respiratory and heart disease.
Auckland Council estimates the social cost of poor air quality in Auckland alone to be over $1 billion dollars.
Studies such as that by Thomas Pugh, Ph.D, reported in Environmental Science & Technology, have shown careful placement of plants between city centrebuildings can reduce street-level concentrations of nitrogen dioxide by as much as 40% and particulates by up to 60%.
Aside from air quality, the cooling effect of plants has significant social and environmental benefits in addressing climate change. Furthermore, plants have been shown to create a stronger sense of place and to reduce stress from city life.
Public and private property owners can make a significant contribution to the public good by including plantscapes in their exterior and urban design plans. Please contact us to find out how we can help.
The health benefits to people working in offices and workplaces with plants have been demonstrated in repeated studies for more than 20 years. Now studies also show clear increases in employee productivity.
Field experiments by researchers at Cardiff, Exeter, Groningen, and Haslam Universities showed the presence of indoor plants increased employee productivity by up to 15%. As Entrepreneur reported (May 2015), the research also showed improved subjective perceptions of air quality, concentration, and workplace satisfaction where plants are present in workplaces.
The three field experiments were conducted in large commercial offices in The Netherlands and the UK and drew on objective measures of productivity as well as subjective perceptions. In all three experiments, enhanced outcomes were observed when offices were enriched by plants. The research is published in full in the Journal of Experimental Psychology (paywalled).
Controlled tests have also repeatedly shown plants are effective at improving air quality in buildings. Plants remove from the air chemicals including formaldehyde, zylene and benzene, often released from building materials and furnishings. In the studies, coughs reduced by 37%, fatigue reduced by 30%, and dry or flushed skin was reduced by 23% with plants in the workspace. Emerging evidence also suggests that exposure to plants and views of vegetation in offices reduces stress, improves attention spans and lifts cognitive performance.
As Judith Heerwagen, PhD, of the US General Services Administration writes “The cumulative body of evidence...on the people- nature relationship provides an unequivocal answer: contact with vegetation, in a variety of circumstances, is highly beneficial to human health and wellbeing.”
To discover how to improve the health and productivity of your team with plants, please contact us today.
Urban plantscapes can play a significant environmental role, reducing climate impacts, increasing biodiversity and improving air quality. The vital importance of these ecosystem services is becoming increasingly recognised.
Plants inside buildings have an air cooling effect and, with correct design, can reduce reliance on air conditioning systems, cutting greenhouse gas emissions. Plants feature in Green Building standards for this and other environmental benefits and can help buildings achieve higher Green Star certification, making them more attractive to prospective buyers or tenants.
Green roofs also have an insulating effect, helping reduce the amount of energy needed to heat a building in winter and cool it in summer. Coupled with this is water retardation from stormwater run off.
This is one key reason why globally cites are making green roofs mandatory for new buildings as it reduces infrastructure burdens. In 2015, France joined the city of Toronto in making green roofs mandatory. The French regulation is limited to new commercial buildings, whose owners may replace some of the plants with solar panels. In Toronto the regulations apply to commercial and residential new builds. We can expect regulation and preference for plantscapes to continue as councils, businesses and governments start to tackle climate change more aggressively.
Plantscapes also increase climate resilience. Green walls and green roofs can be designed to retain rainwater, reducing the problems with runoff, particularly from sudden heavy rainstorms. Rainwater filtered through plantscapes can leave the system cleaner than when it entered, creating an environmental benefit from the building. Plantscapes can also be designed to support biodiversity, giving bees, birds and butterflies safe haven in our cities.
To find more about the environmental benefits of plantscapes, please contact us.
Commercial interior design which incorporates plants is being increasingly recognised as superior. GreenAir are proud to have been the interior plantscape design partner in two finalist categories in the 2016 Architecture Now awards for interior design.
Not only do plants have an intrinsic aesthetic appeal in commercial interiors, softening hard edges, connecting disparate spaces or concealing infrastructure. They can also have a large range of practical functions in interior design such as dividing spaces or improving acoustics.
Studies repeatedly show the health benefits of plants in the workplace and to the role they play in improving employee productivity and health of plants in the workplace. They can also be used by businesses to signal their brand’s commitment to employee wellbeing and to the importance of our natural world. Plantscapes can also be used to refresh commercial interiors and incorporate brand colours, through pots and planters or add innovative design elements inside any budget.
At GreenAir we work both with architects and interior design specialists and direct with building owners or tenants to find a commercial plantscape design solution that’s right for the site, brand and client.
To find out more about how plantscapes can benefit your commercial interior design project, please contact us.