Why Plants are Critical to any Interior

By Bruce Crowle

Interior plants have been around for centuries, so the interiorscape industry is still in its infancy (about 50 years old).  So the question that begs to be asked is why do we need plants indoors?  The biophilia hypothesis suggests that there is an instinctive bond between human beings and other living systems, including plants.

In the mid-eighties I was invited to Washington and had the distinct pleasure of meeting Dr. Bill Wolverton.  He had just concluded his studies for NASA that proved tropical plants could be helpful during prolonged space exploration.  His research concluded that plants and their roots and the surrounding soil (a plant system) absorbed volatile organic compound’s (VOC’s), such as formaldehyde, benzene, carbon monoxide and others, and returned oxygen to the environment.  These results are now pretty much generally accepted by the corporate community, but it took years for its acceptance.

In the last twenty plus years universities and college researchers have documented the many other critical benefits of including well designed and professionally maintained interior plants in the office, shopping malls and homes.  Those benefits include the absorption of noise pollution, increased HVAC efficiency (cost reduction), improving healthy humidity levels and most importantly reducing employee stress at work.

The most critical study compared the employee productivity in an office devoid of plants and the same office with tropical plants added.  The results indicated that worker productivity improved by 12%!

Atria’s clients appreciate and understand the return on their interiorscape investment.  When a company provides and maintains plants for their employees, a message of goodwill is sent.  Workers feel management is concerned because plants create a tended space, giving people a sense of caring and well-being.  In return management improves the office environment, reduces absenteeism, and provides a healthy return on investment.