Without plants, our planet would lack a breathable atmosphere. Their importance to all life is phenomenal. Plants are the unrecognized architects who maintain the environment. They pump oxygen into the air and soak up CO2 during photosynthesis.
In offices, houses, and other indoor settings without vegetation, the air quality deteriorates significantly. Poor air quality not only triggers health issues but also exacerbates existing conditions. In the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency has ranked indoor air pollutants amongst the top five threats of public health. Without air purification, pollutants such as chemicals, building materials, bio effluents, and household products open a new can of worms.
This article reviews the state-of-the-art green systems that carve an efficient pollutant-removal mechanism in workplaces.
Top 5 Scientific Reasons to Use Plants to Clean Indoor Air
Removing Toxic Agents
The NASA Clean Air Study discovered that plants help cut down volatile organic chemicals (VOCs). The study demonstrated that certain household plants may provide a natural approach to removing toxic agents such as benzene, trichloroethylene, and formaldehyde from the air.
According to the study, the plant root zone acts as an effective region for eliminating VOCs. Maximum air exposure to root rhizosphere area promotes filtration. Aloe vera (Aloe barbadensis, Snake plant (Sansevieria trifasciata) and Boston sword fern (Nephrolepis exaltata) are known to extract compounds like benzene or formaldehyde. Aloe Vera also acts as an air quality monitor. Dark spots on its leaves indicate extreme indoor air pollution. Trapped substrates degrade by enzymatic action inside tissues and microbial processes.
Healthier Work & Inviting Spaces
Potted plants and greenery systems purge harmful pollutants and enhance overall comfort. You can buy all of them on your own, but if you’re in London, HandyFlowers, a flower delivery company can do the whole job for you. They have experienced plant physiologists that can help you to replicate nature and its effect in your office.
Some studies have shown that interactions with green systems may change reduce stress, improve productivity, and overall well-being. Other evidence shows that vegetation may also improve creativity, occupant comfort and their perception of the quality of surroundings for a more desirable interior space.
Purdue University incubated a Solar Decathlon project dubbed INHome- a biowall integrated in the HVAC system as a natural air purifier. The study obtained positive outcomes on energy performance from potted biowalls or plants. It replaces the in-built energy recovery mechanism in HVACs that provides a conveyor belt for energy from the exhaust air and intake.
This concept saves energy and cuts down the cost of air filtration by minimizing the need for pre-cooling or preheating. Evapotranspiration from plants decreases the ambient temperature giving them a potential for air cooling and humidity control. Plant physiologists work with architects to integrate smart sensors and computerized technologies for sustainable heating, ventilation or air conditioning systems. Living wall systems along with biofiltration are at the cutting edge of technologies meant to enhance beneficial effects on improving indoor comfort.
Passive Acoustic Insulation System
Some studies suggest that greenery can decrease sound levels. Vegetation reflects and dissipates noise with parts like trunks, leaves, twigs, and branches. Mechanical vibrations and dispersive interference of sound waves by the growth media carve a passive acoustical insulation system. The depth of the sprouting plant, materials for structural apparatuses and the overall coverage influence noise reduction.
Thermal & Humidity Control
Evapotranspiration from plants aids to reduce temperatures around the environment. This process leads to air cooling and humidity control. In 2011, a study of vegetation indoors performed in warm climates concluded the overall humidity level increases. These systems transform warm interiors due to the cooling effect, biofiltration capacity and the aesthetic component value.
Studies on thermal control show that air passing behind the plant is more effective to create an evaporative cooling effect since it’s shielded from radiation or the greenhouse effect. Evapotranspiration of plants enhances thermal and humidity control in combination with a ventilation system to optimize the performance of the overall infrastructure.
Top Five Bio-Purifiers to Help Clean Air and Eliminate Toxins
Snake plant (Sansevieria trifasciata)
This plant cleanses indoor air quality with the uptake of benzene, xylene, formaldehyde, toluene, and trichloroethylene. It also discharges oxygen in the dead of night making it ideal for living places.
HOW TO PATTERN IT:
The snake plant has a towering appeal that blends impeccably with asymmetric components like incongruent nightstand lamps. A lower lamp dwarfed by a tall the other side completes the ensemble.
The spider plant protrudes slender, arcing shoots with lush leaves with a broad central stripe of cream and yellow. Ideal for hanging baskets, it has tiny white flowers at the tip of aerial runners followed by airborne plantlets. This plant has minimum aftercare and withstands extreme conditions unscathed. The spider plant can eliminate xylene, formaldehyde, and allergens.
HOW TO PATTERN IT:
A spider plant’s drooping vegetation improves a vertical décor. You can mount it on the ceiling, style it in a humongous vase, place it on a shelf and showcase its sinuous leaves.
Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata)
A Boston fern has stiff fronds that bend outwards, arcing downward as they grow and develop. It has a graceful shape, sumptuous and fresh body. It helps clean air by removing VOCs such as formaldehyde, xylene, and toluene. It has a lower saturation deficit and thus preserves a healthy moisture level in the environment.
HOW TO PATTERN IT:
The boston fern releases tons of moisture and easily finds its place in our bathrooms. Potted in a high sculpted vase, it breathes life into an empty corner. It’s ideal for hanging baskets, ceilings, and tight corners.
Corn plant, Dracaena fragrans ‘Massangeana’
The corn plant has gleaming medium green foliage with a bold yellow-white stripe flowing towards the center. It develops a robust woody stem and leaves proliferate at the edge of each stalk.
HOW TO PATTERN IT
Given its minimalist splendor, it adds a clean and elegant feel to any décor. It survives in low-lit areas and sprouts a tiny shower of fragrant white flowers.
Barberton daisy (Gerbera jamesonii)
These flowers stick out with resplendent hues and conspicuous elements. Onto the air purification department, they work extremely hard to eliminate VOCs.
HOW TO PATTERN IT OUT:
With a kaleidoscope, these daisies can be standalone or knit together in a colorful matrix. A low-profile vase with pristine lines will underscore the bright colors of the flowers.