Adding ‘green’ to interiors is commonplace. Nedlaw eclipses the industry by truly integrating ecosystems into the built environment. Nedlaw Living Walls offers award winning design, build and maintenance services for Living Walls.
At Nedlaw, we’re different. We didn’t jump on the green bandwagon – we started in the research lab. Results. Solutions. Performance. Creating real benefits for our clients, whether building owners or day-to-day occupants, has always been our focus. After over 20 years of research and development of our biofilter system, we’re excited every day about what we can do for clients.
Living walls become incredible infrastructure - a biological service to your building - when they are given the freedom to become an ecosystem, not just a decoration.
The benefits include vastly improved air quality, reduced energy consumption and employee wellness!
NAVIGATING THE HYPE ON PLANTS AND INDOOR AIR QUALITY (IAQ)
Nedlaw Living Wall Biofilters are the most rigorously tested living walls in the world. They are here to do a job, and that job is increasing building performance while looking fantastic. Our walls are considered “active” because they pull polluted air through the room system, as opposed to “passive” walls that sit pretty like a potted plant. Both active and passive walls feature root environments, but passive walls work very slowly.
If you are vetting plant wall products, you’ll find that most companies make statements about air quality. In this business, there are well accepted factoids about plants having a positive impact on well-being, but extending this supposition to improving air quality is quite opportunistic.
Plants alone do very little to improve air quality. Our Science section explains how it’s actually the exposed roots of plants that do the dirty work. The root zone is the biofiltration zone. We are working to continuously improve the efficiency of VOC removal in order to maximize the clean air our system provides.
Since they are engineered for optimal filtration, our Biofilters can clean 100 square feet of interior space (assuming average floor height) with every square foot of living wall. To put that in real terms, consider that the 3 ft x 7 ft Biofilter in our board room, connected to the HVAC, is cleaning the air for 2,100 square feet of office space. It is metabolizing the smell of microwaved lunches, off-gassing furniture, bathrooms, the truck garage next door and the farms down the road. Odour removal is a great perk!
The way in which our biofilters reduce a building’s energy load is quite simple. We offer an alternative fresh air source; so rather than drawing air from outside which needs to be heated or cooled, our Biofilters help you bypass that requirement. Connecting the Biofilter to the HVAC system creates the most efficient system, adding only a very small draw to pull the air through the wall. That said, we build many Biofilters with on-board fans that can also pull air through the system.
We design the Biofilter to work effectively in your space – for the job that it needs to do. We work closely with you to meet your performance goals with a custom-designed Biofilter that is as unique as your building. Whether your project is new construction or a retrofit, get us in early on the planning so we can maximize the efficiency, and results, of the system! Contact us today if you are ready to discuss.
In 2015, we conducted a North American study using RETScreen Building Performance software to determine the cost savings of generating 100 litres per second of clean air with a Biofilter compared to bringing that volume of air in from the outside (and conditioning it) over an entire year. We ‘valued’ that volume of air, using regional energy rates for both heating and cooling; that value or cost, is what you save by using a Biofilter. This study also provided data on carbon savings. The document link below is a summary of this study, although we’d be happy to discuss with you the anticipated savings for your project.
Indoor air pollution affects far more people than we would like to admit.
Operating at less than optimal levels, cognitively, is a cost that is easily overlooked. Measuring employee productivity relative to air quality has been hard to measure until now. With our research background, we’re very familiar with the toxic soup of indoor contaminants. Here are some third party perspectives on the negative impact of poor air quality in the workplace.
The good news is: we can improve wellness in the built environment – but it’s not as simple as opening a window. At Nedlaw, we recognize the ‘building operator’s dilemma’; how to balance occupant well-being with the heavy cost of heating and cooling intake air. Our biofilters can help. Operating essentially as air scrubbers (minus the filters and by-products that need to released), our biofilters add fresh air while reducing the energy load on buildings.
Our Living Wall Biofilters can be designed for virtually any space. We work with you on the design and configuration. Large or small, the basic construction is consistent and inherently flexible. Multi-storey, horizontal, elevated, wrapped, custom signage – the choice is yours and we’d love to talk with you about your unique space.
We get a lot of questions about lighting requirements. We have installed biofilters in rooms with no natural light (including our own boardroom) – so don’t hesitate to consider adding this technology to windowless spaces.
Solutions for offices, education, government, health, atriums, hospitality and retail environments.
We design our walls for long life, active filtration and ecological integrity.
Basic green walls often feature potted plants fed by a system of water trays, which means the plants are easy to source and replace. It also means that the roots of the plants are constrained, subject to too-dry or too-wet conditions and unable to clean air efficiently. When evaluating the functionality of green walls, remember this: it is the microbial action in the root network that cleans the air; the plants are simply sustaining the environment. Anything that constricts or isolates the root system of a living wall will also limit your opportunity to put nature to work.
Other walls employ hydroponics like we do, but root their plants in growing substrates that degrade over time or cannot structurally support the large and woody plant selection that has made our wall portfolio so remarkable. We use a proprietary growth medium that is both sturdy enough to hold heavy plants and has stood the test of time.
We build our biofilters with two layers of growth media, which allows the root network to grow freely in between. This design creates optimal root exposure to the air flow that is drawn through our system; microbes on the roots are doing the dirty work of eating air contaminants – also known as biofiltration. Keep in mind that green walls with contained roots cannot replicate this natural process.
Nedlaw Biofilters actually combine three technologies – biofiltration, phytoremediation and hydroponics – into a unique system designed specifically to deal with issues of indoor air quality.