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”

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Greywater system

Today we built a greywater system. It is not yet filtering wastewater because we don't have the aquatic plants yet but it will be soon. The system is comprised of 3 plastic tub containers sitting on top of one another with the support of a metal frame (but you could use other methods to still benefit from gravity pulling the water down).
Our materials were:
-for the main project
1) 1/2" rubber tube about 12' long
2) three 50 quart plastic tubs
3) a steel frame and two wire hanging baskets
4) a submersible pump running 263 gallons per hour
5) gravel (enough to cover 3" inches in the top and middle containers)
6) coconut substrate (only used on the highest container, enough for about 3" of coverage)
7) epoxy steel putty
-for the extra water filter (We decided to use a hanging filter that would truckle water down from the top container to the middle one. We did this because the activated carbon was too expensive to put a sufficient amount in the top tub. The hanging basket filter is also nice because the sound of the water falling down is beautiful.)
1) an old plastic plant holder
2) a coat hanger
3) activated carbon
4) gravel
5) polyester fiber

Constructing the greywater system:
1) Since our system is stacked we did not have to worry about pumping water through them all but only to the top, so we only had to make two holes in the plastic containers. The first hole we drilled rather high up on the container. (We found that for this one it is important to have the hose running out to the hanging filter at the height you want the water to stay at because th pump is less powerful than gravity.) The second hole we had to burn because we had to give the drill back. Its not the best option health/environment wise, but it certainly was easier than drilling the hole.
2) Once we got the holes in the containers, we attached the hanging filter basket with a wire coat hanger under the top container and over the middle one. The filter basket has:
- first a layer of polyester (or cotton)
- a layer of charcoal
- another layer of polyester
- a layer of pebbles
3) We connected the tube from the top container to the basket. I guess we didn't connect it so much as place the tube that is taking water from the top tub in the filter-basket. As far as the outtake tube is concerned, if you didn't manage to get it perfect, we sealed it with epoxy steel putty.

4) Then we worked on the contents of the top container:
- three inches of pebbles
- three inches of coconut substrate
- one inches of rocks (to keep the substrate down)
The nice thing about this way of doing it is that the filter basket supplies what you would be getting if you also added a level of cotton on the bottom followed by a layer of charcoal. The plants that are in this container right now are plants we collected from a bog. Among them are: cattails, water lettuce, and some kind of reed. We also have some spider plant clippings in there just to see how they do.
5) The second container just has 3" of pebbles for exclusively submersible, aquatic plants. The output from this is much lower but doesn't have the same unequal time effects as the first tub so it holds water higher than its output. For this hole we also used the epoxy steel putty. We just let this tube lay into the bottom tub. So far all we have is some bamboo growing in there.
6) The final step was to put the pump in and snake a pipe up the steel frame into the the top tub.

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