Posted 30.10.2014 @ 4.27PM (Edited 30.10.2014 @ 4.28PM)
I want to thank all those who supported us and the Indoor Forest-project, either by voting or in spirit. I'm happy to announce we were winners in the Local Project-competition by Bank of Melbourne, and have just received $10,000 to realise our dream!
This means it's onto researching, designing and building an air-purifying forest in Northcity4, in Brunswick, Victoria.
I welcome any questions, comments, ideas, and site visits during the project (2015-2016), and hope to share our findings and process in a way which will inspire others to work with plants also.
& Northcity4 artists
Posted 22.10.2014 @ 11.59AM
Hi Scotty, thanks heaps for your support in spirit! Looks like we did well, but still waiting for an official confirmation, fingers crossed.
Yes, images work well in a forum environment (or better than a thousand words anyhow). Many of us are visual people also.
Cheers and all the best, I'll let you know here when we hear the final results.
Posted 21.10.2014 @ 10.37AM
BUMP! : )
Shamelessly bumping my own post, as today is the last day of the competition, and hence your last chance to support innovative green design if you haven't already done so!
If you'd like to cast your vote, you can do so quickly at the link below, the info is not used or collected:
Thanks everyone - we are currently holding a 2nd spot which means we are in the running for getting funding; 1 & 2 places win! Tell your friends too, there's nothing to lose, and lots to win as we want to make all our research findings a free public resource.
Cheers and big thanks!
Posted 13.10.2014 @ 11.33PM
Indeed, infrastructure, maintenance and cost are some of the main considerations when assessing the adaptability of the idea, to all kinds of work and living spaces.
This is what I've found during the past 12 months in my personal research, gardening and cultivating some of the top purifying plants at our workshop and at home:
Many of the best ranked plants (see some links at the end) such as peace lily, snake plant, spider plant and different kinds of small palm trees, succeed in a variety of conditions, including low light and irregular watering. They are very low maintenance, hardy, and easily available here as mature plants. Once you recognise these, you'll start to spot them in every hotel lobby, conference center and public space, as they are economical and easy to care for. For water, during winter in our studio space (an old Brunswick factory hall with some insulation added) the temperature is quite cool and the plants thrive without watering for more than a week at a time. At summer, once a week watering with a bit of liquid fertiliser mixed in suffices for most of the plants.We consider this an easy management scheme as we don't have paid gardening help.
The "design task of the installation" can be as simple or complicated as the person wants it to be. I frased it like that because we are planning to custom design and construct vessels with wheels to house the plants to become an art installation; a special, sculptural part of our interior architecture. This is our choice - for the same air-purifying effect, plants simply in pots (or pots supported in baskets or wall rings, for instance) work just as well.
Acquiring some of the species as mature plants can be a bit trickier and more costly as Cheli noted. I spotted some money plants at Bunnings a month ago as small saplings, and they weren't too expensive, might be an alternative for sprouting? I was also just recently told - and will have to verify this - that wholesale nurseries around Melbourne are the best places to purchase indoor plants from, as all the commercial nurseries, including the sustainable ones, get theirs from there anyway. They are grown in Queensland. I'm not yet aware of how a company acquires a wholesale permit, but we're looking in that as we'll require a substantial amount of different plants, to be effective for the size of our small factory hall.
Maintenance and installation apart, accepting that there is a cost involved as with any air-filterning systems, it might be the sheer number of plants needed that becomes the biggest challenge. To make a real impact, there need to be several mature plants per person. If you live with your beau in a small flat... you might have to really plan this well! And that's why we have named our project a "forest", as a factory size studio we'll need a very large group of plants. This is a good, short TED Talk by an Indian environmental activist Kamal Meale who cured his asthma by researching plants, explains the numbers needed well: http://www.ted.com/talks/kamal_meattle_on_how_to_grow_your_own_fresh_air?language=en
One thing that might change this in the future, is that the roots of many plants are the most effective air-filter. If the plants can be housed in pots which allow air-circulation through the roots, their impact is multifold. There is a manufacturer of these kinds of special vessels in the US, but their cost of USD $229 per piece rules them still out for many ordinary enthusiasts. See here: http://www.plantairpurifier.com/product-details-overview and also here, the inventor's website, Dr Bill Wolverton, and ex-NASA scientist: www.wolvertonenvironmental.com
Well that was an essay! Thanks for your interest guys, hope this info covered some of the things you mentioned in the previous posts, Dave, Scotty & Cheli.
Lists of top purifiers with pictures here: http://air-purifier-reviewsite.com/blog/15-house-plantsyou-
can-use-as-air-purifiers, here http://www.healthyandnaturalworld.com/best-air-filtering-house-plants/ and here: http://www.mnn.com/health/healthy-spaces/stories/best-air-filtering-houseplants-according-to-nasa
Posted 12.10.2014 @ 11.09AM (Edited 12.10.2014 @ 11.22AM)
Hi Scotty, that's an interesting conclusion to draw ;)
The NASA list of most effectively air-purifying plants doesn't mention your guess of greenery, but who knows, they may have very well tested it at some stage anyway... After all, they were researching how to make space stations better places to live! Here's a pretty comprehensive article about the whole topic: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3230460
Also, please note the Bank of Melbourne's website edit of our original text is very short, and has actually left out the main aim of our plan:
For the wider community, the benefit would be our shared research and construction process documentation which we believe will inspire other similar projects and further research, as well as productive links between Australian and international groups. I myself, for instance, got a spark to look at this field further by seeing Patrick Blanc's NGV lecture in 2009 (see www.verticalgardenpatrickblanc.com). This is how great ideas are disseminated - by great examples and good communication.
For our smaller studio community and visitors there will be cleaner air and more enriching studio environment, coupled with a fascinating design task of setting up and maintaining the installation.
Let me know if you have any other questions, always happy to engage in topical conversation.