Sustainable air-filtration

Sustainable air-filtration
Friendly Filtering Spider Plant---clippings of the hanging new generation can be planted to make more!


We are a design lab based in Joshua Tree, California. Our purpose is to:
1) Look at plants as technology but from a human and creative perspective
2) Pursue the potential many plant species have for removing toxins and adding moisture to the breathing zones in our homes, offices, clinical spaces, and commercial spaces.
3) Encourage the co-habitation of plants and humans.
4) Increase the appeal of incorporating plants into our living spaces by applying good, sustainable design principles to existing methods of keeping houseplants.
5) Personalize the breathing zones of individuals based on their environmental health concerns such as benzene or formaldehyde exposure.
6) Re-imagine the kitchen’s tea cupboard and spice rack as a living resource.
7) Re-imagine the bathroom’s medicine cabinet as a living resource offering safer, lasting, fresher, and more holistic alternatives to many of the commercial items that are conventionally stocked in medicine cabinets at home.
8) Critically engage the ways in which plants can be used for aesthetic purposes in interior design.

In this pursuit we are currently developing the following design lines:
“Sustainable Air Filtration”
“Sustainable Humidity Maintenance”
“Living Medical Resource”
“Living Kitchen Resource”
“Built-In and Mobile Terrarium Installations”
“Interior Desert-scaping”

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Air Filtration Terrarium: Model 1

Last week I bought many of the plants that are able to not just produce oxygen but break down toxic chemicals like formaldehyde and benzene which are commonly found indoors especially in urban environments and emit purified air. Many of the plants I used in the air-filtration terrarium model 1 also have high transpiration rates and therefore have the ability to keep a healthy level of humidity in the personal breathing zone they serve.
Terrarium #1:
Terrarium Model 1 is a completely enclosed bio-sphere. It is made in a green-tinted clear plastic Rubbermaid tub.
1) The first layer is 1" of 1/2 to 1" rocks (rough/not-smoothed, raw/not-coated or painted)
2) The second layer is 1" of smaller pebbles
3) The third layer is 2" coconut fiber substrate
4) The fourth layer is 3" composted soil
5) The fifth layer is collected sheets of moss planted around the air-filtration plants
6) The plants used in this model are:
- Spider plant
- Heart-Shaped Philodendron
- Tulips
- Croton

High transpiration rates are achieved with the use of a 14 watt florescent bulb that hangs 8 inches over the container 12 hours a day. After the initial watering and misting of the plant leaves, the terrarium is kept completely enclosed. When the plants transpire the moisture collects on the sides and lid of the container, condenses, and falls back onto the plant roots and moss layer. One week after the initial setup a fan (80 mm PC fan that can be salvaged from computer bases) is installed on one side of the terrarium and an air output valve is installed on the other side (made from 1 foot long pieces (2x) of PVC pipe (3/8" piece with holes drilled into it and capped on one end and a 1.5" piece to fit over the piece with the holes). This way, the amount of clean air outflow can be controlled by the inhabitant of the personal breathing zone the terrarium serves. The fan used in this model has 3 speeds and is powered by a 12 volt battery (re-chargeable is preferred). The maximum speed is 2600 RPM with 34 CFM outflow at that speed. When the breathing space is known to be highly toxic, the fan can be put on high and the air output pipe can be opened fully. After the fresh air has been emitted, the system must be enclosed again with a sheet of plastic over the fan opening and by covering the holes in the air output pipe to keep the system working. This model should be effective in removing toxins, especially formaldehyde and benzene, with little maintenance except occasional misting with a spray bottle if it dries out from using the filtered air.

After 1 week we added this fan as well as the PVC pipe, images below:

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