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Green Wall for biophilia

Four Big Reasons for Plants in Biophilic Design

11 Mar 2024 Blog

Let’s look at four reasons for plants in biophilic design. Biophilic design in the workplace, which incorporates nature into the built environment, is important for several reasons. There are tangible financial, environmental and sustainability benefits of using plants in biophilic design.

Our built environment is currently the world’s single largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. The global community is gradually transforming the way our built environment is designed, constructed, and operated. There are many building and design factors involved in this process, and plants are one of the easiest ways we can all be part of this transformation.

Let’s take a look at four big reasons plants impact the built environment for the better:

1. Improved Well-being: Exposure to nature has been linked to reduced stress, improved mood, and enhanced cognitive function. By integrating natural elements like plants, biophilic spaces can promote mental and physical well-being.

Dr. Fraser Thorpe’s research emphasises the pivotal role of plants in removing CO2 from indoor environments, with plant density measured by the square centimetres of soil surface area.

Plants not only cleanse the air but also alleviate stress and enhance overall well-being. Exposure to nature within the workplace correlates with a 13% higher employee well-being score (Human Spaces) and a 15% increase in creativity (University of Melbourne). Moreover, buildings embracing biophilic design principles witness energy efficiency improvements of 8-20%, leading to significant long-term savings (Terrapin Bright Green/sustainability consulting firm).

Green Design installed some plants in our office over 2 months ago. The plants changed the atmosphere in the office immediately- it just warmed up the vibe and everyone smiled. They provide soft barriers within the office to define walkways and they subtly create a break within the open plan desks.” Cathy Bourges, GfA Elektromaten Australian Pty Ltd.

2. Increased Productivity: Biophilic design has been shown to boost productivity and creativity in various settings, including workplaces and educational environments. Access to greenery can help employees feel more energised and focused, leading to higher levels of performance.

Fraser Thorpe has also over the years caried out experiments and collated overseas research on the benefits of plants in offices. His findings, in summary, show that indoor plants increase productivity by 12 per cent.

Sick building syndrome incurs substantial costs, amounting to billions annually. By mitigating this syndrome through plant integration, businesses can reduce health expenses, enhance morale, and bolster productivity.

According to a report by Terrapin Bright Green, implementing biophilic design principles can result in better health outcomes, increased property values, and improved occupant satisfaction.

Studies over many decades, including those summarised by the University of Technology, Sydney (U.T.S), showcase this remarkable 12% increase in productivity attributed to indoor plants.

This uptick in efficiency translates directly to ROI calculations, offering a clear incentive for investing in greenery. The ROI formula, factoring in productivity gains against plant investment, underscores the financial viability of this approach.

A return on investment can be calculated by multiplying the effective wages per month by 0.12 and then divide that by the monthly invoice for plants. This will give the R.O.I.

I switched to Green Design last year and it has made a big change to the office. The plants are lush, vibrant, and really help to improve the look across all our floors. I have had lots of great feedback from staff to say it improves moral.” Stuart March, ING.

3. Environmental Sustainability: By reconnecting people with nature, biophilic design encourages a deeper appreciation for the environment and promotes sustainable behaviours. Beyond individual economic benefits, greenery contributes to broader environmental sustainability. Plants aid in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and promote urban environmental sustainability goals. By aligning with these objectives, businesses can foster a greener ethos while reaping the associated rewards through their CSR and ESG processes.

Using these processes within any organisation ensures they are known to be contributing to a better environment and world. Using plants, along with incorporating features like passive ventilation, green roofs, and recycled materials can reduce the ecological footprint of buildings and contribute to a healthier planet.

The other thing that’s important – if you don’t look at the CSR process, you won’t attract good staff. People don’t want to work for a polluter today.” Ray Borg, Green Design Indoor Plant Hire.

4. Enhanced Connection to Place: Biophilic design fosters a sense of connection to the local environment and cultural identity. Incorporating elements inspired by the natural landscape and indigenous traditions helps create spaces that feel rooted in their surroundings, promoting a stronger sense of community and belonging.

Through helping to improve environmental efficiencies in our buildings and boosting productivity we automatically create jobs and improve the health and well-being of our communities and our connection to place.

Our new office in Surry Hills was missing something. We were missing the Green Design touch. The greening up of our office has had a tremendous effect. The team at Mint Money love it, all our clients that visit love the wonderful array of plants.” John Sukkur, Mint Money.


In conclusion, the integration of plants into office spaces offers a multitude of benefits, ranging from enhanced productivity and well-being to significant cost savings and environmental stewardship. Leveraging the Green Star points system through the Green Building Council of Australia, businesses can quantify these advantages and make informed decisions to create healthier, more sustainable work environments.

Related Blog: Purifying the Air – Plants remove Cancer Causing Toxins

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Green Wall for Biophilia