MOSS LAB 2.0 Green Impact on Acoustics
Once again, plants have proven to enhance our day to day life! We have recently conducted MOSS LAB 2.0 with the University of Wageningen and Sorama where we looked into how plant species, substrate, plant combinations, and arrangements influence spatial acoustics.
MOSS LAB 2.0 was established to tackle one of the many challenges confronting post Covid-19 offices: noise! Since the pandemic, companies have embraced hybrid working, giving employees the flexibility to work remotely, while also creating a more seamless online platform for communication.
Although hybrid working opens doors to many opportunities, it can hinder employee concentration, productivity, and well-being due to excessive noise present in the office, especially when combined with the open-plan office layout.
At Makers Of Sustainable Spaces (MOSS), we continuously strive to improve the well-being and performance of building users So, for this challenge, we coined a team with six Masters (MSc) students from the University of Wageningen, two technicians from Sorama, and a project developer from COD to dive into the topic of plants, sound, and buildings. The University of Wageningen MSc students are specialized in plant science, biology, and plant biotechnology. Sorama is specialized in measuring and visualizing sound. COD is a real estate developer in Amsterdam As commissioner of the research question, MOSS guided the team in investigating the effects of plant properties and plant arrangements on acoustics in a hybrid office space.
The literature review carried out by the MSc students revealed that sound can be reduced by increasing sound absorption, which can be affected by the material thickness, porosity, density, position, airflow resistivity, and air gap thickness. It is found that the plant properties that help absorb sound are in the leaf characteristics: higher leaf density, coarser texture, more dominant angle of the leaves, as well as larger leaves, are favored.