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budgeting blog

It’s budget season for commercial real estate (CRE), and while you’re evaluating things like utilities, maintenance, and janitorial service, you may also want to consider live plants and plant service for your commercial spaces. Even if you’ve already partnered with us (thank you for your business!) there may still be an opportunity to add value by adding plants.

In today’s workplace climate, wellness has become more important than ever. Even before the pandemic changed our world, Biophilic Design was gaining momentum. Biophilic Design, or design which emphasizes and supports innate human attraction to nature, has become increasingly relevant, manifesting in a myriad of ways. From increased natural light and views of the outside to fractal patterns in furniture arrangement, to - you guessed it - live and artificial plants integrated into the interior design.

For years, we’ve heard things like, “plants scrub the air” or “plants provide oxygen.” But what does this mean in tangible terms, or as CRE folks like to say, return on investment (ROI)? While plants in sufficient volume can increase oxygen levels, reduce CO2 levels, remove VOCs (volatile organic compounds), and regulate humidity, how does this translate into dollars on your budget? How about increased productivity, decreased time lost due to sickness, or increased talent retention? A study conducted by the Healthy Offices Research Team at CBRE found that biophilic design, including adding plants to the workspace, improved work performance by 10%, improved physical health by 65%, and increased general happiness by 78%. While these results can be achieved by adding either artificial or live plants to the space, live plants can also provide the previously mentioned air quality benefits.

As more and more developers begin to see wellness as a priority within their built spaces, WELL building certification has become increasingly important. Live greenery is specifically required to satisfy feature 100 “Biophilia II” of the Mind Concept of WELL certification (specifically calling for at least 1% coverage of the floor area per floor, and one plant wall per floor covering at least 2% of floor area or the largest available wall, whichever is greater). However, live and artificial plants can satisfy Features within the Air, Comfort, and Mind Concepts. Best of all, you don’t have to have a WELL Certification decal on the front door to reap the real benefits of plants. 

We’ve always appreciated plants for their beauty, but that way of thinking has evolved. Plants are no longer to be tucked away to the corners of your lobby - they have real, tangible benefits when integrated throughout your space. Contact us to learn more about gaining the visceral and fiscal benefits of plants and a biophilic interior space.