It’s Easy Being Green – The benefits of plants in the office

 In better by design

As the concrete jungle of inner city life continues to grow so too does our desire to find pockets of greenery.

Bringing life into office and commercial spaces has become as much about the positive health impacts for workers as it has a key design aesthetic.

There is a theory, first published in 1984 by Edward O. Wilson, that humans possess an innate tendency to seek connections with nature and other forms of life. Indoor plants inject the outdoors into an office, cleaning and circulating air, reducing the need for heavy air conditioning.

Foliage has the ability to decrease noise levels, compressing the hum of business to more zen-like levels, and for office spaces lacking in external views having living plant life in eye line boosts creativity and productivity.

Biophilic principles (based on the innate human affinity with the natural world) drive key design features that make otherwise sterile spaces pulse with life.

Our client Plumbline tapped into our vision with their flagship Wellington showroom, integrating an impressive living wall into the design brief, on such a scale it was akin to a statement work of art.

Fully self-contained and automated the maintenance of this green wall is as easy as flicking a switch for irrigation, and wastewater circulating through pre-existing building drainage.

The seedling selection was a careful process, ensuring the right shrubbery was planted for the growing conditions available. While grasses, ferns and evergreens are an easy choice for low maintenance green walls there is also no reason why an edible wall couldn’t be designed into an office refit, allowing staff to harvest fresh herbs and greens for lunches and tea.

Anyone can put a little pot plant on their desk and call it foliage, but good corporate design is more than just making things pretty. It is layered, complex and well thought out, creating the most harmonious and effective workplace possible with the space available.

About Outline Design

Outline Design is an established commercial interior design firm based in Auckland, New Zealand offering the full range of interior design services. To find out more contact us.

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