Archive for August, 2010

Everybody knows that living plants enhance indoor spaces, adding a touch of natural beauty and color to our daily lives. We forget that they also give off oxygen and, according to NASA research, actually remove harmful indoor pollutants from the air we breath. No wonder leading architects and building managers have incorporated green and blooming plants into their buildings for years.

Today’s builders and property managers are more concerned than ever about improving air quality, but they also need to reduce energy costs and minimize the environmental footprints of their buildings. They want to decrease their reliance on fossil fuels and other natural resources, while making their buildings as healthy, energy efficient, and earth-friendly as possible. One tool developed to work toward these objectives is the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system, guiding us toward buildings with little or no net energy use and environmental impact. Read More→

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Ozone, the main component of air pollution, or smog, is a highly reactive, colorless gas formed when oxygen reacts with other chemicals. Although ozone pollution is most often associated with outdoor air, the gas also infiltrates indoor environments like homes and offices. Ozone can be released by ordinary copy machines, laser printers, ultraviolet lights, and some electrostatic air purification systems, all of which contribute to increased indoor ozone levels. Topping the extensive list of toxic effects of ozone on humans are pulmonary edema, hemorrhage, inflammation, and reduction of lung function.

Because people in industrialized countries spend as much of 80% to 90% of their time indoors, indoor air pollution has been ranked as one of the world’s greatest public health risks. The United Nations Development Program estimated (1998) that more than two million people die each year due to the presence of toxic indoor air, while other studies estimate that 14 times as many deaths occur globally from poor indoor air quality compared with outdoor air pollution. The economic consequences of polluted indoor air can’t be ignored either; one Australian study estimated that the cost of unhealthy indoor air in that country exceeds $12 billion annually, measured in losses of worker productivity, higher medical costs, and increased absenteeism. Read More→

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Aug
15

What Indoor Plants Do For You

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Many people may not know that working in front of a computer for more than four hours a day in the presence of indoor plants, actually leads to the improvement in their work productivity by more than ten percent, plus importantly there is an improvement in the health too.

It is good to have  indoor plants in our home and offices particularly when they are air-conditioned or enclosed.  First and foremost, they enable us to concentrate better and release stress which enhances our overall productivity.  Indoor plants re-circulate the chemicals which are emitted by furniture, fixtures, paints and solvents that cause dizziness, lack of concentration, and headaches.  The amount of oxygen which plants release  helps us  to plan and think in a better, more positive way,  energizes the body, improves our performance, and most importantly it reduces  the most common ailments caused by the chemicals:  headaches, nose and throat irritation.

Surprisingly, indoor plants in a closed ventilated office or near a computer, have a low maintenance cost as compared to the huge outdoor plants. Certain indoor plants like ferns and cactus do not require watering on regular basis.  Indoor plants need a comparatively small space.  They can be wall mounted, kept in the corner or placed on a side table. Having indoor plants creates a warm and friendly atmosphere and helps the surroundings to be more cheerful and relaxed. Read More→

by Rome Sanzio

When you enter an office for the first time, your wandering eyes may probably notice the kind of desks they have.  Details such as whether they are hardwood or glass, painted or vinyl-covered, modern or antique, cramped or large would quickly register in your mind.  The kind of chairs, the color of the wallpaper on the walls, the size of the windows, the type of curtains and positioning of furniture would also contend for your immediate attention.

However, there will come a moment when your eyes will deviate from these mundane and usual office supplies and be attracted to more natural and more pleasant items.  A painting on the wall, a picture on the desk or maybe an office plant in the corner. You might not know this but the kind of office plant that you choose actually says a lot about who you are.

Many people choose to personalize their work spaces so as to inject some level of their personalities and characteristics in the area where they spend the most time and do their work.  Aside from the framed pictures and strategically placed knickknacks, the office plant you decided to put by your window, on the side of your desk or in the corner of the room can communicate to others a bit of who you are. Read More→

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You may not be aware of it, but there is battle taking place in office buildings all over the world.  On one side is the toxic gases produced by modern office equipment and on the other a group of surprising heroes, regular office plants.  Research has shown that modern energy efficient office buildings are in fact home to a number of potentially harmful toxic gases that are more commonly known on the streets as Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs).  This gang contains characters such as formaldehyde, benzene and trichloroethylene that are attacking office workers by causing sore throats, headaches and irritable eye and skin conditions.

In the early 1980’s the National Aeronautics Space Administration (NASA) discovered a potential solution to apprehend these volatile gases. Enlisting the help of Dr. Bill Wolverton, an environmental engineer, NASA discovered that indoor plants were capable of challenging the VOCs and purifying the air making it much safer for employees in office buildings.  Dr. Wolverton found that common houseplants could both purify and cleanse polluted air and water as well as bringing a number of other beneficial properties into our indoor spaces.

The modern energy efficient buildings we now live and work in have provided VOCs with the perfect territory in which to reign.  With much of our time now being spent indoors, many of us in windowless offices, the distinct lack of fresh air has also led to other physical and psychological ailments that have been enhanced further by the toxic VOCs.  Our productivity, creativity and general mood are depressed in these ultra efficient conditions, where the only thing that is ultra efficient are the machines and equipment that support the VOCs. Read More→

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by Rudy Ursem

People have worked indoors for many centuries, but it is only in the last few decades that the indoor environment has become totally sealed, air conditioned, and filled with synthetic materials that can out gas chemicals into the air.  These chemicals called VOCs, or volatile organic compounds, can have concentrations several times higher then that present in outdoor city air, and are recognized as having a deleterious effect on the health of people working in this environment. Read More→

Plants we can find outside provide us with a wide range of benefits that play great importance in our daily living.  But most people are working indoors for many years with air conditioning, synthetic materials, and a totally sealed environment.  These three workplace conditions release gases and chemicals into the air which can have detrimental effects on people’s health.  Many studies have been conducted and have proved that indoor plants are able to remove or decrease the concentration of these harmful chemicals, which is why interior plants are becoming popular today.  Throughout the United States, there are numerous companies that offer interior plant design and maintenance because of the recognized benefits indoor plants have on the office environment.

Indoor plants can increase productivity of workers because green plants refresh our stressed eyes and minds. By looking at beautiful, green plants and trees, a long day of stressful work can be lessened and can even decrease absences due to poor indoor atmosphere.  Also, plants are known for their oxygen producing function in our environment. Having tropical plants in our surroundings can increase the feeling of freshness.

Many are surprise to learn that plants and trees can reduce noise in the office, at home and even in streets. There were studies conducted that proved  indoor plants are capable of breaking sound waves thus decreasing the frequency of sounds. This is very helpful in an office that is noisy due to the employees and background sound.  The side effect of a quiet office is it creates a relaxing atmosphere in which to work. Read More→

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