Green buildings

Green indoors

Image credit: Axel Moltgen

Use plants to improve indoor climate

Indoor air quality is improved when plants are placed in open areas, hallways, and in individual rooms. Transpiration from leaves increases air humidity, creating a more comfortable environment. If plants occupy 5% of a room volume, the relative humidity in winter can increase by as much as 20% and the room temperature by 1-3˚C. Room temperature decreases by 1-3˚C in the summer.

Use plants to improve air quality

Some plants have the capacity to remove indoor air pollutants, either by capturing these onto leaf surfaces, or by absorbing and metabolizing pollutants. Different plants have specialized capacities to remove pollutants, and plant selection can target known problems and deliver a wide range of benefits when a diversity of plants occupy a space. Allow air to flow along as much green as possible indoors as it moves from room to room. Atriums, wintergardens, halls and plants in individual office spaces are all effective.

Indoor green improves health
(both physical and psychological)

Studies show that sick leave from work is reduced by as much as 3.5 days per employee in offices with plants. The presence of green can improve the healing of patients in hospitals. Physical effects include a more regular heart rate and lower systolic blood pressure. Psychological effects come from the therapeutic impact of looking at plants. Green fosters neutral relaxed and happy feelings without negative feelings. Shops with green displays gain 12% in sales. Oriental style flower arrangements stimulate right brain functions while western style flower arrangements stimulate left brain functions.

Maintenance is essential for quality plants

Good healthy soil, potting techniques, water, and pruning are necessary to guarantee the continued vitality of indoor plants.

Create a more comfortable climate indoors with the use of indoor plants, which has a positive effect on the psychological and physical well-being of the users of the building.

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The effects of plants on the wellbeing of office workers

Health complaints without greenwith green present
Exhaustion20% less
Headaches30% less
Sore/dry throat30% less
Coughing40% less
Dry skin25% less
Peeling scalp/earsless
Facial irritationless
Eye irritationless
Fuzzy headless

Benefits of green indoors

  • Improves indoor air quality
  • Reduces indoor dust particles and microorganisms
  • Adjusts seasonal temperature and humidity
  • Reduces fatigue and stress
  • Employees who work in offices with green take up less sick days
  • Enhances work efficiency
  • Reaction time and productivity of employees increases by 12%
  • Concentration of employees increases
  • Has a high impact compared to the costs
  • Is easy to install and remove
  • Has a horticultural therapeutic impact on mind and body



New and existing developments

In new development:

Design buildings with permanent places for green and plenty of natural light to guarantee that green is valued and maintained by the users.

In existing development:

Add indoor plants inside buildings in open areas, hallways and individual rooms to maximize the benefits for all users.



List of best indoor plants

Hedera helix L.
Aloe barbadensis
Ficus elastic
Ficus benjamina L.
Syngonium podophyllum
Chamaedorea elegans
Dieffenbachia amoena
Dracaena deremensis cv. Warneckii Compacta

(Sources: Ki-Cheol Son, Konkuk, and Bouwen met Groen en Glas)