The effects plants have when incorporated into an interior design concept are no secret. A German study found that adding greenery into an office or education-focused space has the ability to reduce stress and enhance productivity.
Information from the Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) also cites a Washington State University study that found these increases in productivity could be as much as 12 per cent.
Indoor plants also have the ability to get us thinking green, just one more in a growing list of reasons the GBCA is rewarding plant incorporation in interior design projects under their Green Star Office Interiors v1.1 rating system.
Within this specific system, plants can significantly improve the overall Green Star rating of an office fitout. The GBCA states that plants must, however, be selected based on their propensity for indoor environments, with a ‘horticultural maintenance plan’ put in place to ensure the health and well-being of the plants are maintained. In doing, so the benefits to those who enter the space can be maximised.
“As Green Star focuses on improving the health and well-being of building occupants through better IEQ, it aligns with one of our key corporate values – that people are our greatest asset,” says ISIS Operations, People and Sustainability group executive Gerard McMahon.
The rating system for this indoor design feature will entail a points system that increases from one to two points based on the number of plants included, pot plant size and work setting ratio.
Several projects have already been rewarded for their extensive use of plants in office spaces – rewards that come from both the GBCA and in the form of improved working conditions.
Built Environs 100 Hutt Street Head Office in Adelaide has recently received a 5 Star Green Star – Office Interiors v1.2 rating. The office features a mass of more than 330 indoor plants throughout the building. The extensive use of plants has exceeded requirements by more than 25 per cent and has improved both air quality and the health and well-being of staff members.
“The presence of plants has been shown to lower workplace stress, decrease fatigue and to enhance productivity through increased well-being,” says Built Environs design manager Rocky Slater.
We have repeatedly discussed how simply and effective the incorporation of greenery into inside environments is. Now with Australia’s highest green building authority formally recognizing the benefits of indoor plants, the incentive to green up office spaces has never been greater.