Measurement and simulations of the influence of green wall systems on indoor air quality

Posted by Naava on Apr 28, 2022

Authors: Janine Bardey, Marcel Schweiker, Dirk Müller & Marc Baranski

Year of publication: 2021

Publication: 17th International Healthy Buildings Conference (June 2021, Paper 14.2)

Keywords: VOCs, particulate matter, indoor air quality, humidity,

Link to publication

Ventilation systems have an enormous effect on people’s health and well-being by contributing to the quality of indoor air. To ensure health, well-being, and low resource demand, the influence of novel and alternative air conditioning systems needs to be tested and optimized. Today, researchers and industry professionals are tackling this challenge by introducing plant-based systems. This study investigated the resource and air-purifying performance of such a plant-based green wall system.

The study by Bardey et al. investigated the performance of a green wall in a real-life office environment in order to evaluate the potential of plant-based systems in human living and working environments.

The aim of the study was to quantify the potential contribution of plant-based systems to 1) resource savings and 2) indoor air quality (IAQ) improvements in comparison to and in combination with conventional heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems (HVACs).

IAQ was evaluated based on concentrations of CO2, particulate matter (PM), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and relative humidity. In the consumption analysis, electrical and heat demand as well as water consumption were considered.

The methodology of the study involved both experimental testing and simulations. The experimental setup consisted of an office room with mechanical ventilation (room volume 56m3), a green wall, and a source of pollution. Either a test person or a printer were used as typical office pollutant sources. The tested green wall - a Naava green wall - contained an automated watering and fan system.

The results of the study indicated that the green wall reduced VOCs effectively from the experimental setup office room and also had a positive effect on relative humidity and temperature. Additionally, the study results suggested that combining a HVAC system and a green wall might lead to lower volume flows due to the air cleaning effects of the green wall, which might compensate for the higher consumption of electric components of the green wall or even save energy.


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