The property industry has undergone a seismic shift over the last few decades with the design and construction of sustainable buildings now the norm in building standards. The last piece of the puzzle yet to be addressed is the health and wellbeing of building occupants.
In the recently published ‘Healthy Offices: Why Wellness is the new Green’ report by The Fifth Estate, it reveals that the average Australian spends 90% of their time indoors, and a large portion of that time is in an office. Healthy workspaces lead to increased staff productivity, increased profitability, reduced sick days and a reduced burden on our health care system. With all of these paybacks, it stands to reason that developers, architects, designers and indeed, employers are now shifting their focus towards creating healthy workspaces.
Creating a healthy building is more than just lighting and air-conditioning. There are a range of aspects that must be addressed, including wellness – how people feel and interact within the space. The addition of living infrastructure such as a green wall or better still a Junglefy Breathing wall to an office is just one of a range of solutions that can contribute to the wellness of a building’s occupants. Living infrastructure can lift the aesthetic of its environment whilst also providing biophilic benefits, meaning people feel happier when close to nature.
Organisations such Lendlease and Australian Ethical Investments have capitalised on the wellness benefits of a Breathing Wall in their offices as stated by Jacqueline Lapensée from Australian Ethical Investments, “During that slump time in the afternoon people are moving to the couches by the green wall.” Companies are now recognising the value that living infrastructure can have on their staff and the role that it can play in providing a “safer, more comfortable and productive working environment” according to Cate Harris, Head of Lendlease Workplace Programs.
With ‘Wellness becoming the new green’, we are sure to see a rise in Breathing Walls and other living infrastructure to enhance our buildings, workspaces and homes and to improve our quality of life.