Preserved Moss VS Living Walls

The guiding principles of Biophilic design are clear: the psychological and emotional need of humans to connect with the natural world is fundamental to who we are. It is also vital to our personal and psychological health. As humans, it reminds us that we are part of nature and that our well-being connects deeply to the natural world’s rhythms, colors, and textures. The more we become drawn into the digital world, the more disconnected we feel from the unwavering truth of most profound connections.

Not surprisingly, as more homes and businesses begin to recognize this fact, Designers and Architects are looking for new ways to integrate more natural elements into the work environment, often in the form of

  • sustainable natural materials
  • a concentrated focus on natural shapes and textures.

Added to this awareness are design considerations for recycling, upcycling capacity, and sustainability of office features.

As Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO, and Founding Chairman of the U.S. Green Building Council writes:

“When Nature inspires our architecture–not just how it looks but how buildings and communities function–we will have made great strides as a society.”

At Quiet Earth Moss, we are very much aware of Biophilic practices’ benefits and its growing prominence as a design standard. Therefore, we offer a wide range of Preserved moss wall options and a rich portfolio of moss wall designs, wall art, geometrically shaped frames, highlight features, and company logo options.  Add any of these selections alone or in combination and transform your workplace into a contemporary, healthy, and sustainable green space. 


But How is a Preserved moss wall Different than a Living Wall?

One of the most common questions we get asked is, “What is the difference between a Quiet Earth Preserved moss wall and a Living wall?” But before detailing these differences, it is crucial to understand that Quiet Earth Moss is a 100-percent natural product preserved using eco-friendly natural oils in combination with natural dyes. It is not like artificial moss, made of plastic and polyester.  Quiet Earth preserved moss offers all the emotional and cognitive benefits of a Live wall.   Quiet Earth Moss allows Architects and Designers to take full advantage of a luxurious assortment of shapes, textures, and shades, as well as a wide variety of colors, all of which reflect nature’s artistry.

Discerning clients can choose from any combination of:

  • Reindeer Moss is a bushy, branched moss abundant in the Arctic and notable for its rich texture, depth of color, and nuanced shades.
  • Pole Moss (broken link here) grows in a tight, round cushion-like mass and is an intense, vibrant green color. It has a premium and exclusive feel that will renew the look of your space with an emotional impact.
  • Fern Moss offers the delicate texture and elegance of feathery fronds and can form a moss carpet across grass or bare patches of ground.
  • Mood Moss adds dramatic, impactful textures and depth, growing in thick, large clumps. It gets its name because it changes in appearance based on the growing conditions when it was aLive.
  • Sheet Moss naturally grows in sheets and is the most affordable natural moss, making it perfect as a base material for larger projects in office lobbies or multi-story entryways.

Like a Living wall, Preserved moss walls provide all the natural, sustainable, and beautiful features of a Living wall without the high maintenance costs.

This blog outlines the essential differences between a Preserved moss wall and a Living wall.  Listed below are the essential criteria you will want to consider before investing in your next (or first) Biophilic moss wall experience.


Preserved Moss Requires No Maintenance

Even though live plants do offer a diversity of design options, they require significant maintenance when used in wall panels, modular walls, or art installations. A Living wall demands regular watering and feeding to address the needs of each plant species. A Living wall also needs direct sunlight or constant attention from a grow light

Preserved naturally, a Quiet Earth Moss installation of similar design will retain its luxurious look and never require watering, feeding, natural light, or special care.  Imagine organic office decorating with no maintenance costs attached.  Preserved moss offers this luxury, making perfect business sense for any office of any size or location.

And removed from all the challenges associated with installing a Living wall or art accent, Designers can use preserved installations freely in areas with no direct or indirect light sources. This freedom makes preserved moss incredibly valuable for providing mood-lifting natural office decor in interior offices, hallways, and conference rooms.

An added benefit: your Preserved moss wall will never attract bugs or become home to unwelcome office visitors.


Ease and Cost of Installation

Living walls require a soil or substrate material that can hold water, provided in most cases through an elaborate (and costly) integrated delivery system. This construction introduces the risk of leakage and water damage and adds substantial weight to the wall: as much as 10 to 12 pounds per square foot according to most estimates.

In contrast, Quiet Earth Moss recommends a recyclable back panel material known as ezoBord, backing their Preserved moss wall. Light and strong, ezoBord can be easily customized into any shape imaginable to create one-of-a-kind vertical installations combined with Quiet Earth Moss.

Quiet Earth Moss preserved moss installation is so lightweight (usually under 3 pounds per square foot) it can be suspended from an existing ceiling with no risk of structural damage.

Although every preserved moss project has its unique challenges and opportunities, most Preserved moss wall panels cost 40 percent less in installation and associated expenses than a Living wall equivalent. And remember: a Quiet Earth Preserved moss wall is also a sustainable acoustic dampener, capturing 90 percent of medium and high-voice frequencies and a natural sound absorption value of 0.96.

Are you considering a full redesign of the C-suite boardroom? Do you need sound dampening in large common areas formerly filled with cubicles?  Quiet Earth Moss wall panels offer an innovative and visually impactful blend of calming accent with the sound dampening qualities essential on those occasions when communication quality is most crucial. 


Flexibility and Mobility

As you might expect with an installation that weighs in at 10 to 12 pounds per square foot, a Living wall is very often a permanent feature within an office. Once built, installed, piped for an integrated irrigation system, and wired for grow lights, a permanent Living wall is, at best, a costly renovation or relocation project.

For those freestanding or mobile Living wall options on the market, mobility does not come with reduced infrastructure or maintenance costs. They still require water and some form of a light source and the costly maintenance associated with the more permanent versions.  And without this bothersome maintenance, the living plants will die, which means an expensive removal and replacement to keep the feature looking fresh and healthy. 

Because Preserved moss walls are lighter and require no extensive infrastructure for water or light, they are also easier to move as your office expands or reconfigures. This flexibility is especially true of preserved moss art features or logos, which can be relocated as simply and quickly as you would a framed painting or photograph. 

And because Preserved moss does not require water or light, the design flexibility of mixed moss combinations is almost limitless. Create unicolor or multicolor walls. Blend textures of fern with moss clusters at various heights and create subtle or bold shadings of color. Accommodate all these unique design features without adding weight or increasing maintenance costs. A bonus is that you never have to worry about the dreaded “brown spots and patches” that often plague Living walls as some plants flounder while others flourish.


The Bottom Line: Preserved Moss is Good for your Workplace and your People

In his aptly titled essay “Cooped Up Indoors? There’s a Reason You Don’t Feel Well,” Tim McKeough points out that Biophilic design is being welcomed enthusiastically by hospitals, senior living centers, spas, and rehabilitation centers. He cites a 2019 study from researchers at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health that concludes “that Biophilic interiors helped inhabitants recover from stress and reduce anxiety more quickly than interiors without natural elements, and documented a notable reduction in blood pressure.”

A recent study by the American Institute of Stress underscores the negative impact and dangers of untreated workplace stress. The numbers are telling:

  • 80 percent of workers feel stress on the job, and half of those admit they need help in learning how to manage that stress more effectively
  • 26 percent of workers self-report that they are often or very often burned out by the pressure of their jobs
  • 25 percent view their jobs as the number one stressor in their Lives
  • Job-related stress is more directly associated with health complaints and absenteeism than financial or family problems.

These stress issues will become more pronounced in the post-COVID return to the workplace.

The real-dollar cost of this elevated stress? In the U.S. alone, over $300 billion is lost every year by businesses due to workplace stress. Yet in many Norwegian and Asian countries, where this cost is much lower, the emphasis on designed connections with nature are already far more common than we find in North American workplaces. 

As part of a holistic Biophilic design strategy, Preserved moss can make your workplace a healthier, safer, and more balanced place for all members of your staff. And as studies repeatedly show, teams that are healthier and happier at work are also more productive.

So, whether you are looking for a bold logo statement in a reception area or natural acoustic dampening in a training or meeting room, a Preserved moss wall is a unique Biophilic option. Offering proven emotional and psychological benefits to any business, a Preserved moss wall, or a piece of customized moss art also makes sense. Delivering high-value impact with no additional maintenance costs, preserved moss is natural, sustainable, and allows for the agility of redesign that suits any business or home office environment.

To learn more about the benefits of Preserved moss walls, moss wall art, or custom designs and installations, contact Quiet Earth Moss today.