Workers at Build Studios are promised reduced stress levels, improved mental fatigue and better air quality as their office now contains a living, green wall. Over 200 plants have been installed in the Botanic ART wall at the co-working space in Waterloo.
Helen Santer, director at Build Studios, a co-working space for built environment professionals, said: ‘We are very excited to be trialling the impact plants can have on office well-being and air purification. We know plants reduce stress levels and absenteeism, and that certain plants can improve air quality. So far, everyone at Build Studios has reacted favourably to the living wall.’
The wall at Build Studios contains 240 plants including climbing fig, green ferns and English ivy. The Peace Lily plant is also included – one of the easiest plants to grow and maintain – but also identified by NASA as the plant most appropriate to be taken to the international space station due to the extraordinarily high tolerance it has to absorbing air pollution.
The plants will remove carbon dioxide from the air and provide oxygen. Some of the plants chosen are particularly effective at air purification, removing significant volatile organic compounds (VOCs) like benzene and formaldehyde from the air. The wall measures 2460mm (W) & 2290mm (H). The environment at Build Studios will be monitored – to ascertain whether there are benefits in terms of air quality thanks to the introduction of the living wall.
Tim Wraight of Biotecture UK, installed the wall, and said: ‘The Botanic ART wall allows a large number of plants to be grown in a small space, and is ideally suited to offices. It also requires no construction work or landlord approval, so is a fairly stress-free way of incorporating green infrastructure benefits into a building or living space. It’s a great example of bringing nature inside.’
Known benefits of incorporating green infrastructure within buildings, especially in urban areas include:
Reduction of stress levels and absenteeism
Removal of significant volatile compounds (VOCs) from the air
Reduction of CO2 levels by 10-25%
Bill Clee, Asset Mapping, Build Studios member and the company responsible for monitoring the impact of the living wall on the environment, said: ‘The living wall is a great addition to Build Studios. Air quality has a huge impact on people’s wellbeing and can therefore enhance a company’s performance. The living wall also gives us an opportunity to measure the CO2 and air quality in the space using sensors. Nature can help us just as much as clever tech in delivering a Smart Building.’