“The space within becomes the reality of the building.” ~ Frank Lloyd Wright
The inclusion of indoor plants into a modern interior design is no longer just an attractive luxury. Considering their proven ability to improve the efficiency within a working environment, it would be a strategic error if these were the first to go when executives are faced with budget restrictions.
Competitive trading conditions across most industry sectors have caused the hallowed walls of most boardrooms to resound with the voices of pressurised management teams. Faced with falling sales; reduced margins and escalating costs, the current business environment has created new challenges when it comes to balancing the budget. While reducing expenditure on indoor plants might appear to be an easy solution, this could prove to be a very expensive mistake.
Improve productivity by creating a stimulating office environment
In order to maintain and improve productivity, a key element in the competitive business arena, one needs to operate in an environment which encourages high performance. Dr Loretta Lanphier, a Doctor of Naturopathy and a clinical nutritionist, who has undertaken extensive research in health science, shares her views in her publication titled: Setting up Your Office for Health.
Dr Lanphier encourages the establishment of a stimulating and nurturing office environment. Lanphier, CEO and founder of Oasis Advanced Wellness, suggests that we should be aware of the problems that can negatively affect us. In doing so, we’ll be able us to take adequate counter measures and provide an office that is balanced and conducive to the good health and well-being of both the individual and thereby the organisation.
Sick Building Syndrome and MCS
In her report, Dr Lanphier makes reference to the findings of Dr. B. C. Wolverton and the team from NASA who proved that indoor plants do more than just enhance the beauty of the surroundings - they also remove volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) or pollutants from the air and also add oxygen and humidity to the indoor environment. Lanphier refers to plants as being a solution to the common, high-tech ill, or sick building disease.
The products that emit these organic compounds number in the thousands. Paints, varnishes, furniture, air fresheners and cleaning materials are a few common sources and without any means of effective cleansing, these linger and are breathed in by the occupants.
The presence of these toxins is often the cause of many ailments, collectively referred to as Sick Building Syndrome or MCS, Multiple Chemical Sensitivity. With indoor plants having a proven ability to filter the air and remove up to 87% of the toxins commonly trapped in the sealed environment.
Don’t underestimate air borne pollutants
According to a report by the World Health Organisation in 2002, potentially dangerous volatile organic compounds are responsible for over 1,6m deaths each year. Emitted as vapour from certain solids and liquids, VOC’s have adverse short and long-term health effects on humans and animals.
The risks associated with indoor air pollution and Sick Building Syndrome are well known and the ability of indoor plants to substantially remove these risks are no now substantiated by the many professional studies. Their presence is no longer an aesthetic luxury, indoor plants play an essential role when it comes to ensuring the productive environment that is necessary for a workforce to perform to their highest ability.
Courtesy: Interior Plantscapers Association