It's important to remember that it's not the plants but the microbes growing in association with the plants, on their roots, surrounding 'soil' and in the water that are actually cleaning the air. Although these same microbes exist in the soil of typical potted plants, the fact they are encased in soil and further encased in a plastic pot means these soil microbes have little opportunity to impact on indoor air quality.
The Nedlaw system actively forces the air through the biologically active zone where the beneficials can maximize their impact on air quality.
The living wall biofilter combines biofiltration and phytoremediation directly into a hydroponic plant wall. Behind the scenes, a pump constantly circulates water and nutrients from a reservoir at the base to the top of the wall. The water then trickles down the wall through a porous synthetic root media in which the plants are rooted. Air from the occupied space is actively drawn through the plant wall by either the HVAC system or onboard fans and then returned to the occupied space. As the dirty air from the space comes in contact with the growing (rooting) media, contaminants move into the water phase where they are broken down by the beneficial microbes.
The biofilter improves the indoor environment through a number of ways; first in terms of its impact on air’s contaminant levels. A single pass through the Nedlaw Living Wall Biofilter can remove up to 90% of harmful chemicals. Second, the living wall improves the aesthetics of the indoor space. There are increasingly strong links between greening the indoor space and the well-being of the occupants. Greening the space reduces the stress levels, increases the productivity and reduces absenteeism.
The aesthetic appeal of the biofilters makes their installation well suited for indoor space. The biofilter offers a focal point in the space which can be used as a place for casual or more formal gatherings. Integration of seating either into or near the biofilter can help create this sense of community.