Living Walls Inspire Learning

According to a recently published article in the Canadian Journal of Green Building & Design, approximately 25% of all living walls installed are located in academic institutions.

Active living walls (sometimes called a biowall or biofilter) are known to improve indoor air quality by removing common contaminants. These living walls not only have the ability to improve air quality but also work environments, energy performance, humidification, acoustic absorption and help create sustainable building structures.

The largest living wall in the United States – a 1,570 square foot structure at Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is capable of generating up to 30,000 cubic feet of ‘virtual’ outside air per minute. According to Dr. Alan Darlington, president of NEDLAW Living Walls, more than 1100 individual plants and 20-plus different plant types were used to fill the wall. The active living wall at Drexel University is some 70 ft. tall and over 22 ft. wide, says Darlington.

Living walls expose students to technology that will help their understanding of how the world works. At Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, the living wall is in the Integrated Learning Centre’s Live Building. This living lab demonstrates to students how sustainable practices can be incorporated into building design.