Living walls have become a common theme in corporate environments in an effort to provide workers with a sense of calm.
These walls, riddled with real plants and greenery, bring the outdoors inside. Along with helping workers ease their minds, they also help clean the air, reduce energy costs and enhance the health of employees.
Matthew Barlow, vice chairman and director at Savills, recently showcased the company’s new North America headquarters in New York that features living walls on the 11th floor.
“I worked at a company called Delos, a technology firm and pioneer of the WELL building standard,” said Francesca Gentile, a Savills wellness and workplace strategist, who is credited for introducing the walls at Savills. “The whole concept at my previous firm was, ‘How do we bring the outdoors into indoor environments?’ because, as humans, we have evolved an existence for thousands upon thousands of years outdoors. That’s actually our natural habitat.”
As people continue to spend most of their time indoors, health and wellness have taken a big hit. That is why companies like Savills are incorporating a biophilic approach to their office design.
Gentile introduced the company to the “Naava” wall, which features plants grown in pods that are inserted into a wall. Once the plants are fully grown, they cover the background and take over the entire wall.
Studies have shown that incorporating biophilic displays in buildings can help humans feel more at peace and be more productive. In fact, a study from Terrapin Bright Green revealed that health care costs can be cut down if greenery is included in the workplace.