The term Biophilia is used to describe an innate desire to maintain close proximity between humanity and the natural/living world which surrounds them.
Biophilic design can include architectural design in keeping with the surrounding natural vista, allowing as much natural light into a building as possible and utilising natural materials for creating flooring, furniture, decorative objects and more.
Interior design colour palettes will take influence from nature too and the inclusion of plants, trees and living green walls all help to bring the ‘outside’ in, thus helping to promote this design concept wonderfully.
Numerous scientific studies have concluded without doubt that plants/green infrastructure within the workplace can provide a clear return on investment, so we’ve listed some top reasons for including them below:
Displays which feature a large amount of plants with plentiful foliage can improve air quality, by collecting a range of harmful pollutants such as PM10, PM2.5, NO2 and O3.
These particles usually originate from outdoor urban sources and are typically brought in via mechanical or natural ventilation.
The denser the cluster of plants used, the greater the benefit. Having a mixture of leaf shapes and textures can help reduce the sound of a wide range of frequencies. Eg. Low frequency sounds might be traffic passing by externally, while the whirring of office electronics like a printer would be in the higher frequency range.
Location is key; to make the best use of the plants, try to cover hard materials and flat surfaces (concrete, glass walls etc).
And think in 3D! Sounds reflect on all surfaces so by installing trailing plants from the ceiling, it too can help minimise sound reflection across the office.
Workplaces that incorporate natural elements such as greenery and sunlight, had employees reporting productivity levels 6% greater than those without these elements.
Being immersed within a biophilic environment can help lift the state of mind and close proximity to plants can even help to combat stress and have a restorative effect on mental fatigue, compared to environments devoid of nature.
A combination of cleaner air, reduced sound, increased connections to nature and visual privacy from plants will contribute towards improved physical wellbeing which in turn can reduce the number of employee sick days being taken.
The introduction of green infrastructure on a larger scale within the workplace, can also assist with WELL Building Certified and BREEAM building accreditations.
In the last year, there has been a steep rise in creating healthier more sustainable workspaces which has resulted in greater appeal for achieving these accreditations (or at the very least, working towards their achievement).
* * * * *
The creation of stunning work environments also act as an attractive employee engagement and retention tool.
It fosters a company culture where investments are made to make employees feel valued and cared for and ultimately creates a great place to call ‘work’.
Our Knowledge Transfer Partnership with Manchester Metropolitan University focuses on the scientific research of our living wall system, HYVERT and the specific plant species used.
This research has deepened our general understanding of sustainability, allowing us to reduce our energy input, source materials locally and use British manufacturing wherever possible.
And I Want Plants Managing Director, Richard Rowlands (inventor of our HYVERT Living Wall System) frequently delivers CPD sessions to educate others on the increased environmental sustainability benefits, which can be reaped by implementing green infrastructure into design schemes.
Please do get in touch if you’d like to know more.