Green architecture aims to make nature closer to humans and humans to benefit from nature. The first thing that must be considered when we want people to be closer to nature is by bringing nature into the indoor spaces. One of the many benefits of having plants inside your home or office is that they can purify the air. So, let’s start talking about indoor plants that clean the air.
In the late 70s, NASA started to conduct research regarding plants that can eliminate indoor pollution. Indoor pollutions? How is this possible? Advancements in construction materials brought up some benefits, including more efficient insulation, which means more energy savings. But, with added benefits comes with added disadvantages. These materials give off Volatile Organic Compounds or VCOs. These compounds are the primary cause of Sick Building Syndrome. It turns out, living in a confined and isolated space is not beneficial to our well-being.
Related topic: Indoor Green Walls’ Benefits
Indoor Plants that Clean the Air
Going back to NASA’s experiment, the goal here is to find out that natural vegetation can eliminate harmful chemicals in the indoor air. Plants that were included in this experiment are popular indoor plants. So here are five of these indoor plants that clean the air.
Bamboo palm(Chamaedorea seifrizii)
The name suggests that this plant is a mixture of bamboo and a palm tree. Well, yeah, it looks like bamboo with palm leaves! These gorgeous plants are native to the Americas, in particular Mexico, Guatemala, and Honduras. They love shady areas with lots of water. Plus, they could tolerate reasonably low temperatures. They can thrive in low lighting conditions, which is why they are suitable indoor plants. It thrives in humid environments, so be sure to spray some water when the air becomes dry.
Chinese evergreen(Aglaonema modestum)
These lush green plants are popular as indoor plants. They thrive in low lighting conditions, which also makes them ideal indoor plants. Native to Southeast Asia, these plants love the tropical climate. It thrives in temperatures ranging from 15 to 24 degrees Celsius and loves a humid environment. Beware, though, as they contain calcium oxalate, which irritates the skin and the mucus membranes.
English Ivy(Hedera helix)
Sometimes known as the common ivy, this vine is popularly seen as vines that cover walls. Although this plant thrives very well outdoors, it is also a popular indoor plant. Native to Europe and Western Asia, it can reach up to 100 ft in length.
The lighting requirement is not demanding since it only needs a partially shaded area with ample sunlight. If ever you are planning to have one, careful planning is a must. It is an aggressive and invading plant. It can overgrow other plants, deriving them of nutrients and sunlight, plus, it could destroy walls and roofs.
Dragon Tree(Dracaena marginata)
The name is striking as well as its appearance! This plant has outstanding sword-like leaves with red edges. Native to Africa, this plant tolerates a wide range of temperatures. They are drought-tolerant, so you don’t have to worry about watering it. It grows best in bright lights but also survives in low lightning conditions. Take note that it may lose its color intensity when in low lighting conditions. Beware, though, that the leaves are extremely toxic to pets.
Snake Plant(Dracaena trifaciata)
Perhaps one of the most popular indoor plants so far, the snake plant, is a beautiful thing indoors! Also known as Mother-in-law’s tongue, snake plants are native to West Africa. They thrive even in neglect, so probably the best plant for beginners. They are drought tolerant and hard to kill, so watering is not really an issue. It blooms in winter, and the leaves can grow up to a meter high.
Towards Sustainable Architecture
Sustainable architecture is perhaps a complex concept. So complicated that we are thinking, do we really have to consider adopting this? Well, we may want to adopt this. After all, our planet’s and our children’s future are at stake if we do ‘t do something to save our environment. So, why not start with small steps. Start with putting plants indoors and reap the benefits – beautiful surroundings and a healthy life.