VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) are harmful gasses that are emitted from everyday materials typically found indoors such as paints, disinfectants, air fresheners, and common office appliances like photocopiers and printers. Short term exposure to VOCs can cause eye, nose and throat irritation, headaches, nausea, vomiting and dizziness – with long term exposure potentially having more severe consequences such as liver or kidney damage and even cancer.  

WELL is a performance-based system for measuring, certifying, and monitoring features of the built environment that impact human health and well-being, through air, water, nourishment, light, fitness, comfort and mind.

Seratonin is a hormone that helps regulate your mood and emotions. It plays a key role in the sleep cycle, which means it’s crucial for getting a good night’s rest.

To combat rising energy costs in the 1970s and 80s, offices were excessively insulated to keep buildings at an optimal temperature. The effect this would have on air quality and therefore the health of those working in offices like this, had not been accounted for leading to the condition that is now known as Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) being coined.

Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), also known as seasonal depression, is a condition that affects the brain’s ability to regulate mood and sleep. It is thought to be caused by a change in the length of daylight hours and occurs during the fall and winter months when there is less light.

ROI stands for “Return on Investment.” It measures the financial value of an investment by comparing the actual return against the initial investment.

Pruning is a technique that allows you to control the shape and size of your plants. You can prune anything from fruit trees to bonsai trees, and it’s really useful for keeping plants healthy.

Prospect views allow us an uninterrupted gaze into the far distance.

A pore is a small opening in the surface of a plant that allows for water, gases, and minerals to enter and exit.

Photosynthesis is the process by which plants take in light, carbon dioxide, water, and minerals and convert them into oxygen, sugars, and other nutrients. This process occurs in all green plants.

The pH scale measures the acidity and alkalinity of a substance. The pH scale ranges from 0 to 14, with numbers below 7 indicating acidity and numbers above 7 indicating alkalinity.

A perennial plant is one that lives for more than two years. It can grow back from its roots, so it doesn’t die after a single season.

Noise Reduction Coefficient. The Noise Reduction Coefficient (NRC) is a representation of the decay rate of sound, or how much sound is absorbed by an object or surface, compared to that rate in a standard reverberant room without the object or surface in it.

Nordik Moss is a preserved natural product. It’s a sustainable material, harvested by hand from the forest floor, and is 100% biodegradable. It can be used to great effect for instance in office reception areas and meeting rooms, in public spaces such as waiting areas and hallways, and in commercial buildings, such as shopping centres, hotels and showrooms, as well as in high-end residential projects.

Moss walls are an eco-friendly and sustainable way to add colour and texture to an interior space. They require minimal maintenance, and can be made in any shape, size or colour you want. 

Modular means that something can be broken down into smaller parts. It’s related to the word “modulate,” which means to change in a way that is proportional or consistent. Modules are the individual parts of a larger product, and modular design is a process for designing products that break down into modules.

Melatonin is a hormone that regulates your sleep-wake cycle. Melatonin is secreted by the pineal gland (located in the brain) and helps to control circadian rhythms, or your internal clock. The production of melatonin is triggered by darkness and inhibited by light. So if you are exposed to bright light in the evening (like from a computer screen or TV), melatonin production will be suppressed, making it harder for you to fall asleep at night.

A living wall is a vertical planting system that’s used in interior spaces. Living walls are used in residential and commercial buildings, as well as public spaces like hospitals and schools. Their popularity continues to grow not only because they’re beautiful, but because they can help improve air quality by absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen.

ISO is an independent, non-governmental international organization with a membership of 167 national standards bodies. Through its members, it brings together experts to share knowledge and develop voluntary, consensus-based, market relevant International Standards that support innovation and provide solutions to global challenges.

Forest bathing is a Japanese practice that was developed in the 1980s by doctors and researchers who wanted to help patients with mental health issues. They discovered that spending time in nature can have a profound effect on the mind and body.

A focal point is an area of a design that draws the eye of the viewer. The focal point may be a single object, or it may be multiple objects arranged in such a way that they create a single focal point.

A genus is a group of species that have similar characteristics.

Enviroculture is a special, sustainable planting system that helps your organisation demonstrate your responsible attitude towards the protection of our planet. The system does not require soil or compost for the plants to grow and is therefore totally peat-free. It is a very clean system, free from soil-borne pest and bacteria, and has a positive effect on the Environment.

A mixture of different styles, tastes, or ideas; the opposite of uniformity. 

Circadian rhythm is the internal clock that regulates our daily cycle of sleep and wakefulness. Our bodies are programmed to follow a 24-hour cycle, which means we have periods of higher energy and alertness at certain times of day and lower energy and drowsiness at other times.

BREEAM is the world’s leading science-based suite of validation and certification systems for sustainable built environment.

Biomimicry is the practice of emulating nature to solve problems, especially in architecture and design. It is a concept based on the understanding that nature provides the best design solutions to problems.   

Biophilic design is a design technique which uses natural elements to connect people to nature, creating a positive, restorative effect on their well-being.

Biophilia is the idea that humans are hard-wired to seek out and connect with nature, and that this connection is critical for our psychological health.

Biodiversity is the variety of life on Earth. It refers to the number of species and the variation within those species in an ecosystem. Biodiversity is important for a healthy ecosystem because different organisms have different functions and needs, which together balance out each other’s effects on their environment. 

Bespoke is a term used to describe something that has been made to order or customized. It comes from the word “bespoken,” meaning “spoken for.” So when something is described as bespoke, it means it’s specifically created for someone or something.

Annual plants are, as the name suggests, plants that only live for one year. They grow from seeds in the spring and flower in the summer, then die at the end of the season.

Accent Colours: An accent colour is a colour that is applied in small amounts to a specific part of your design. It’s used to bring attention to that part, and make it stand out from the rest of your design.  

Glossary