Biowalls: A Redux

Posted on May 22, 2014


In late 2011, I blogged about a biowall installation in a Drexel University building.  Generally, plant life is not very plentiful in hospitals—despite the indoor environmental benefits they provide like toxin filtering, oxygen production, temperature moderation, and aesthetic / calming benefits to building users.

When I discovered the Drexel Papadakis Building biowall 30 months ago, not much was known about its future impact.  In this month’s Architectural Record, that biowall was mentioned as part of an educational piece on how to improve interior air quality, performance, and health.  Some stats since the Nedlaw Living Walls installation:

  • The biowall uses 1500 plants in its design
  • The biowall is not merely a passive method of air purification; it is part of the air handling system, which actively pushes air through the wall
  • Air quality has improved 80% since its installation
  • Energy consumption for the building is down 30% since the installation

Biowalls are still a somewhat radical design element, especially in healthcare.  And yet, I can think of no better place to reap the biowall benefits than in a hospital.

Posted in: Interior Design