Open offices are not as favorable anymore as they were, not only due to the acoustic effects and privacy but certainly now with the Covid pandemic.
If you want privacy you’ll need to use a meeting room but it’s not the most favorable room to work in.
Unfortunately, it can be difficult to make sure a design includes all these aspects. As a result, designers and architects still often have to leave space for cubicles and open office spaces, a big contributing factor to general noise levels.
The natural solution: plant trees in your home or your office! It doesn’t only help to cool the internal temperature, increase the oxygen in the air and give a feeling of freshness, it really helps to relax as well.
One creative way to both combat office noise and bring natural elements to a design is to incorporate plants and greenery into a space. Studies have shown that both plants and living green walls are an effective way to absorb sound and noise pollution.
Beyond their sound absorbing qualities, plants and other natural elements can help to improve a worker’s overall well-being. Access to natural elements like greenery, natural light, and organic textures have been found to both improve employee productivity and reduce sick leave. Plants have been found to be a mood booster and a stress reliever for team members, which can, in turn, help to improve an employer’s bottom line.
Can Plants really absorb sound?
There is quite a bit of research on the subject, and the short answer is yes. The flexible and porous nature of indoor house plants acts as natural sound reducers. There are three ways that house plants can reduce the sound in your home or office: deflection, absorption, and refraction.
Most people do not understand the sound absorption benefits of houseplants. However, they really do help with absorption sound.
How Plants Reduce Indoor Noise Levels?
As mentioned above, plants reduce noise levels through three different methods: deflection, absorption, and refraction.
- Deflection – Sound waves tend to bounce around off hard surfaces. That is where all that added noise comes from. Walls are rigid and will amplify sound, while plants are flexible and help to deaden the sound by breaking up the sound waves into other forms of energy.
- Absorption – Plants are great at absorbing sound because of the leaves, branches, and wood. Wood is a great sound absorber. Have you ever walked through a forest and been amazed at the silence? That is because the trees are absorption all the ambient noise.
- Refraction – Refraction is taking away the echoes of the sound bouncing off the hard surfaces. Plants will help to refract this noise and eliminate the echoes which are responsible for much of the added noise in your home or office.
The indoor plants that work best at absorbing sound such as:
- Ferns: have a lot of surface space to help reduce sound. Their wide leaves spread out and cover quite a bit of area.
- Baby’s Tears: Baby’s Tears are a dense plant that looks almost like moss. The plant has a way of draping itself over the pot and makes a great sound reducer when elevated off the ground.
- The Peace Lily: The Peace Lily can absorb some of the sounds with their leaves and do a great job of bouncing the sound to the other plants and is a great sound absorbing plant you can put in your home. Their true noise absorbing properties are in their thick, broad leaves.
- The Rubber Plant: The beauty of this plant is just how big it can get. Rubber plants cover a large surface area which only serves to enhance their sound absorbing properties.
- Fiddle Leaf Fig: The fiddle leaf fig is another plant with broad, thick leaves. They can grow tall, and the cupped shape to the leaves make for an effective sound absorber.