How Plants Can Absorb & Block Sound In Your Office

It can be tricky to concentrate in the office when you’re surrounded by the clatter of keyboards and the hum of conversations. 

Luckily, plants offer a natural solution to this too-common problem. Beyond their visual appeal, plants have a unique ability to absorb and block sound, making them not just decorative, but functional additions to any workspace. In this article, we explore how sound barrier plants can help create a quieter, more peaceful office environment.

Related Article: Plants as Room Dividers

Do Plants Absorb Sound?

Yes, they do! Plants are actually natural sound absorbers. Their leaves, stems and branches actively help to reduce noise levels in an office due to their ability to scatter and deflect sound waves. This feature makes them an excellent choice for offices looking to minimise distractions and create a more focused work environment.

Why Plants Make Great Sound Barriers

Plants act as effective sound barriers due to their physical properties. The varied shapes and sizes of leaves help to break up sound waves, while the soft, porous nature of plant material can absorb sound, preventing it from bouncing around a room. Plants can also add humidity to the air, which can further help in sound absorption.

Incorporating plants into office design not only improves the acoustic environment but also contributes positively to a building’s Green Star rating. The Green Star rating system evaluates the sustainability of buildings, underscoring the commitment to creating more sustainable workplaces. By enhancing your indoor air quality through natural sound absorption and air quality improvement, the presence of plants can play a crucial role in creating a greener office environment.

Ways Plants Can Be Used as Sound Barriers/ Absorbers

Innovative and aesthetically pleasing, sound barrier plants can be utilised in countless ways to create sound barriers and absorbers in office environments. Here are just a few effective methods of arranging plants that absorb sounds:

Plant Walls

A plant wall, or a living art wall, is not just visually stunning but also serves as an effective sound barrier. By covering a wall with plants, you create a dense layer of foliage that can absorb a significant amount of sound. Plant walls are particularly useful in open-plan offices or areas with hard surfaces that tend to echo.

Vertical Garden Wall

Vertical garden walls are a smart choice for space-conscious offices looking to incorporate plants that absorb sound into their interior design. The arrangement of plants in a vertical garden helps to catch and diffuse sound waves, reducing overall noise levels in the office.

Layered Planting

Layered planting, utilising plants of different heights and types, creates a multi-dimensional acoustic barrier. This design not only adds depth and texture to your office space but also enhances sound absorption through the varying layers of foliage. Layered planting is effective in large open areas, where it can serve as both a visual divider and a sound absorber.

Hung From The Ceiling

As well as looking particularly striking, hanging plants from the ceiling can also contribute to sound reduction. This method is particularly effective in areas with high ceilings, where sound tends to amplify. Plants hung at different heights can intercept sound waves that travel upwards, helping to create a more acoustically balanced environment.

Some Of The Best Plants for Sound Barriers

Creating a quieter office environment can be as simple as choosing the right plants. Here are two of the best sound absorbing plants.

Dracaena (Janet Craig)

The Dracaena, especially the Janet Craig variety, stands out as one of the best plants for sound barriers. Its dense, lush foliage not only adds a touch of greenery to the office but also serves a practical purpose. The thick leaves are excellent at capturing sound waves, helping to dampen ambient noise. 

Peace Lily

Peace Lilies are renowned for their striking white blooms and lush green leaves. These broad leaves are not just visually appealing; they are also highly effective at absorbing sound waves, making Peace Lilies one of the best sound blocking plants out there. Placing Peace Lilies in strategic locations around the office can help reduce echo and soften overall noise levels.

Interested in learning more about how plants absorb sound or want to start greening your office? Contact The Plant Man today for office plant hire, design and maintenance tailored to your workspace needs.

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