Decoding Design

Pollution-fighting living wall installed in a London Tube station

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A new beautiful vertical garden has been will be unveiled this week at a Tube stop in downtown London as part of an effort to clean the city's air.

As part of London's effort to clean its air, a new beautiful vertical garden will be unveiled this week at the Edgware Road Tube stop in the city's downtown.

Transport for London, the transportation authority for the metro area, received a grant from a program in place to help London comply with European Union air standards, called the Clean Air Fund.

The new living wall, installed by the firm Biotecture, will cover one 180 square foot side of the station.

The company specializes in designing and implementing walls like this in London's built environment but has been part of projects all over the the United Kingdom as well as in Chicago.

Biotecture pre-grows the plants vertically in a patented modular hydroponic system that is designed for low water use and low maintenance. This particular wall is planted with a mixture of evergreen and perennial plants that fit well into a more congested, traffic-heavy environment.

As the wall matures, the firm will experiment with different plants plants having smaller leaves and different textures and growth habits to understand their ability to trap small particles, to make the wall as efficient as possible in combating pollution.

Plants in the wall include Munsted lavender, geraniums, lamb's ears, heuchera and veronica.

Holding the plants up will be a peat-free substrate and the structure that supports the plants includes Ecosheet, a waterproof backing that is made in the UK from recycled materials.

To feed the plants, they will be drip-fed twice a day by an irrigation system that Biotecture can operate from a SIM card at their offices or another remote location.

Every week, the wall will be monitored to check for particle absorption from car emissions, a main feature of the Clean Air Fund's agenda.

[TreeHugger]
Main image: Biotecture
Smaller Images: Bonnie Alter/Creative Commons

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Beth Carter

Contributing Editor

Beth Carter is a freelance journalist based in San Francisco. She has worked for Catalyst magazine, the New York Times Syndicate, BBC Travel and Wired. She holds degrees from the University of Oregon and New York University. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure