Washington: Homes of the future could have cleaner air and lower energy bills, thanks to a new technology involving the use of a living wall of air-purifying plants, scientists say.
The BioWall is an air filter consisting of shelves of plants built into a wall and attached to a homes heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system, said researchers at Purdue University in the US.
Built-in systems provide light and water. A fan behind the unit draws air into the BioWall and through the growth media where microbes in the plants roots process volatile organic compounds, or VOCs.
The plants also remove carbon dioxide from the air. The cleaned air then returns to the homes HVAC unit for heating or cooling. "Over the past century there have been initiatives to create more airtight buildings that increase HVAC efficiency and reduce power consumption," said Scott Massey from Purdue University.
"Unfortunately, the side effect of this trend is that is has reduced indoor air quality. The BioWall is a solution for that problem," said Massey.