The air we breathe indoors is sometimes as bad, if not worse, than the air outside. The pollutants found in the air outside enters properties and then is circulated and recirculated. This phenomenon is often referenced as a major contributor to “sick building syndrome” and has been shown to be detrimental to our health.
One of the possible ways to clean the air inside is the use of indoor plants. Compared to buying and installing numerous electronic air filters, investing in interior landscaping is a very cost-efficient method of purifying the air. However, how do plants purify the air and what plants purify the air most effectively?
Interested in plants for your business? You can contact Ambius today and see what our design consultants can do for you.
NASA studies indoor plants
NASA has studied how they purified the air in controlled locations. The reason the space agency studies air purifying plants is to see if they could be used to organically purify air in space stations and potential space camps and colonies on other planets (such as Mars).
NASA’s study indicated plants did a great job of cleaning out chemicals from the air. Chemicals such as:
All of these chemicals have been connected in one way or another to health problems with humans and other mammals.
How many plants are needed to purify the air?
This is hard to say. Of course, at Ambius, we prefer to use as many plants as we can to make the office space look pleasant. In interior where space is scarce, we recommend installing a living green walls to install a lot of plants in a relatively small space. The more plants you can add to your space, the better.
In the NASA study, former NASA scientist Bill Wolverton indicated he would put two “good sized” plants per 100 square feet. Of course, what “good sized” can be up to debate, but it is also indicated green plants with large, green leaves work the best and can absorb more of the surrounding air, naturally removing the pollutants, and pumping clean oxygen back out.
Which plants purify the air?
According to the NASA study, the plants which seemed to clean the air the best were the Florist’s Mum and the Peace Lily. However, there were other plants indicated in the study, including:
- Dwarf date palm
- Boston fern – which can be a tricky plant to grow indoors
- Spider plant
- Chinese evergreen
- Kimberly queen fern
- Weeping fig
- Bamboo palm
- Devil’s ivy
- Flamingo lily
- Dracaena – various species
There are others, too, and nearly any plant has some ability to scrub the air, but smaller plants are not nearly as effective as the larger plants which have broader leaves.
What indoor plants can do for your business
There are numerous benefits to having plants indoors. In addition to their ability to scrub the air clean, there are other ways plants can help your business.
Biophilia is the science of nature and its innate connection to humans. Humans have an instinctive desire to see and be close to nature. This includes just seeing greenery and nature which can improve overall mental health, creativity and other health benefits. This can be seeing a window and see nature outside, or by bringing green plants indoors.
Having easy access to indoor plants, or even the colors associated with nature (greens, browns, etc.) can reduce presenteeism, which involves employees being there in the office, but mentally checked out. It can also reduce absenteeism. At the same time, it elevates the mood of employees, improving mental health an creativity and productivity.
Contact Ambius for indoor plants
Of course, indoor plants and greenery also make your office and property look fantastic. They are pleasant to look at and have a calming effect on people. A living green wall can make your lobby or meeting room really stand out from the crowd. Plus, adding plants can help clean the air, reduce noise and provide other benefits as well.
So, if you want to make your office look better, feel better, and even smell better, contact your local Ambius office today!