Breathe Better

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Would incorporating agriculture into a building improve indoor air quality? Efforts in India seem to say “Yes.”

Cities with air as heavily polluted as New Delhi (3x more polluted than hazy Beijing) are rare. Generally, better indoor air quality is achieved by ventilation systems that pump outside air inside.  But in these environments, it’s actually easier to clean the air inside.

beijing-smog

According to Grist:

Paharpur Business Center came up with a green scheme to detoxify the noxious air before bringing it into [the] company’s office building: a rooftop greenhouse filled with 400 garden-variety plants.

There are twice that many plants throughout the rest of the building, and the results are statistically demonstrable.  Not only does this study show incredible results (huge reductions in asthma and air-related irritation), but the data monitored daily here corroborates those earlier results.

biophil office

This practice builds on the ideas of biophillic design and point to just one more benefit BIA could provide.  For a vertical farm, this could potentially point to another source of revenue: air remediation for buildings they partner with.

For instance, imagine a skyscraper, maybe one like Australia’s One Central Park, where some of the floors are dedicated to offices or living space and others to vertical farming. Following the Paharpur model, the upper floors and roof would then not only be providing a local, fresh food source, but also healthier air.  A look at the above study shows why that’s better for everyone.


Happy New Year!  The Urban Vertical Project has a lot of great stuff planned for early 2015.  Not only will we be sending out those presentations we’ve been mentioning, and a bunch of new interviews, but there’s also going to be a follow up to the popular LED post.  Several people have been very generous with their time to get that together, and though they’ll be thanked again individually when it’s published, thank you now for being patient while waiting.

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One thought on “Breathe Better

  1. Pingback: Farm Your Office For a Healthier Life | The Urban Vertical Project

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