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Power of Plants – The Benefits of Living Green Wall Systems

Living Green Walls can enhance a building’s visual appeal, improve air quality and increase occupant’s alertness and energy levels. Click on a bubble below and scroll down to learn more….

Visual Benefits

  • Hali Munchen 22jun13 (25)Living Green Walls make a breathtaking statement by creating alluring and inviting environment. Living Green Walls infuse dull interiors with life-renewing greenery. They soften our man-made world and make spaces feel more warm and inviting. Whether they are installed on the interior or exterior of a building, these living, breathing plant walls create the ‘wow factor’ that so many architects and interior designers seek.

Sustainability & LEED Credits

  • Living Walls have been recognized, in varying degrees, by sustainable building rating systems, including Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED), the WELL Building Standard and the International Green Construction Code (IgCC).

Noise Reduction

  • Zaloa Azkorra, a professor in agricultural engineering of the Department of Thermal Engineering at University of the Basque Country (Universidad del País Vasco) in Spain, has found that living walls can provide passive acoustic insulation.

Lower Occupant Stress

  • Respected research done by Dr. Roger S. Ulrich of Texas A&M University, Helen Russell, Surrey University, England as well as those conducted by Dr. Virginia Lohr of Washington State University verify that plants significantly lower workplace stress and enhance worker productivity. In Dr. Lohr’s study, common interior plants were used in a computer laboratory with 27 computer workstations. A computer program to test productivity and induce stress was specifically designed for these experiments. Participants working in an environment with plants present were 12 percent more productive and less stressed than those who worked in an environment without plants.

Improved Air Quality

Generally speaking, it can be said that we spend 80-90% of our time indoors and that the indoor air is 5 to 10 times more polluted than the outdoor air.

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  • Carbon Dioxide Reduction: occupant concentration and productivity are negatively effected when elevated levels of carbon dioxide are present indoors. Many busy humans within one well-sealed building can produce drowsy employees. However, during photosynthesis plants naturally extract carbon dioxide and exchange it with fresh oxygen.
  • Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs): These are toxic, colourless but sometimes odorous volatile substances in the air that are generated from the hazardous off-gassing of petroleum-based products and plastics. Several laboratory studies have shown that plants can remove airborne VOCs.
  • Sick Building Syndrome: Real life office studies have proven the direct relationship between clinical health complaints and plant installations. Sick Building Syndrome is a serious and expensive issue, and the degree to which interior plants can positively affect employees’ health is an important issue in today’s workplace.Professor Tove Fjeld of the Agricultural University in Oslo, Norway carried out several conclusive studies regarding health claims relating to Sick Building Syndrome among workers. This crossover study was conducted among 51 offices. During one period, plants were included in the offices. And during another, plants were not included. All participants worked in identical, single offices, with a floor area of ten square meters and a window covering most of the outer wall. When plants were included, the participants were exposed to 13 commonly used foliage plants placed in three containers on a window bench, and a terracotta container with plants in the back corner of the office. When reviewing 12 of the common symptoms most often related to poor indoor air quality and ‘sick building syndrome,’ there was a 23% lower complaint rate during the period when the participants had plants in their offices.

Biophilia

  • Biophilia is humankind’s innate biological connection with nature. It helps explain why crackling fires and crashing waves captivate us; why a garden view can enhance our creativity; why shadows and heights instill fascination and fear; and why animal companionship and strolling through a park have restorative, healing effects. Biophilia may also help explain why some urban parks and buildings are preferred over others.

Increase Worker Productivity

  • In an eight-month study, the Texas A&M University research team explored the link between flowers and plants and workplace productivity. Participants performed creative problem solving tasks in a variety of common office environments or conditions. The conditions included a workplace with flowers and plants, a setting with sculpture and an environment with no decorative embellishments.During the study, both women and men demonstrated more innovative thinking, generating more ideas and original solutions to problems in the office environment that included flowers and plants. In these surroundings, men who participated in the study generated 15% more ideas. And while males generated a greater abundance of ideas, females generated more creative, flexible solutions to problems when flowers and plants were present.