A review of green systems within the indoor environment

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This paper reviews the state of art of vegetation systems and their effect on the indoor environmental quality (IEQ), based on scientific studies from the past 30 years. Some studies have shown that biophilic workspaces and interaction with plants may change human attitudes, behaviours, improve productivity and the overall well-being. Evapotranspiration from plants helps lowering the temperature around the planting environment and this can be utilised for air cooling and humidity control. Also, indoor greenery can be used to reduce sound levels as a passive acoustic insulation system. Living wall systems in combination with biofiltration are emerging technologies to provide beneficial effects on improvement of indoor comfort. Several studies have indicated that green systems may improve indoor air quality and that they have different pathways for pollutant removal of volatile organic compounds. The plant root zone in potted plants may be an effective area for removing volatile organic compounds under controlled conditions. In conclusion, the full capacity of plants in real-life settings will need to be clarified to establish the true pollutant-removal mechanisms and the general effect on IEQ. The effects of green systems in combination with mechanical elements such as conventional heating, ventilation and air conditioning would need to be studied.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages12
JournalIndoor and Built Environment
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 20 Jun 2018


  • Biofiltration
  • Indoor air quality
  • Indoor environmental quality
  • Living wall systems
  • Phytoremediation
  • Plants


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