Nedlaw Living Walls help achieve clean indoor air naturally while providing a visually appealing look. Research began on the technology in 1994 in Ontario and was commercialized in 2001 through Air Quality Solutions. Seven years later, the first living wall was installed and Air Quality Solutions merged with the Nedlaw Group. Today, Living Wall Biofilters are installed in Canada and the U.S. with some European and Asian countries showing interest.
The wall itself is soil-free. It’s a vertical hydroponic green wall and contains several plants, including flowering and foliage varieties that are planted into synthetic media. The system connects to an air-handling system or uses onboard fans that draw air in through the root zone of the plants, stimulating biological components to break down pollutants into benign components of water and carbon dioxide. Clean, cool air then is distributed through the space via the existing mechanical ventilation system. In controlled laboratory studies, the wall system removed up to 90 percent of formaldehyde and 70 percent of VOCs with a single pass. Other benefits of the Nedlaw Living Wall Biofilter include dust control, humidity and temperature regulation, sound abatement and natural-smelling air.
The Environmental Protection Agency identifies the quality of the indoor environment as one of the top five health issues. Sick building syndrome has been quoted as costing the American economy between $15 and $40 billion per year. Hazardous compounds can arise from off-gassing of furniture, building materials, occupants and activities within a space. Many buildings bring outside air inside, which must be heated or cooled prior to distribution and can be costly. Further, the quality of the outside air being brought in isn’t always good especially in industrial areas or areas with high vehicular traffic. This planted wall can generate high air quality for as little as 10 percent of the energy required to bring the same amount of outside air into the building.