Potted Plants as Active and Passive Biofilters Improving Indoor Air Quality

J. Sowa, J. Hendiger, M. Maziejuk, T. Sikora, Ł. Osuchowski, H. Kamińska

Plants are the planet’s source of oxygen and the sink that removes carbon dioxide produced by burning, respiration and decay of organisms. The studies performed in small chambers indicated that plants also reduce volatile organic compounds (VOC’s). All these phenomena result in a fact that potted plants have a potential to improve IAQ and to some extent to support ventilation. Trends to “go green” increase the growing interest in the introduction of a large number of plants to offices. One should remember that work in modern offices is often associated with a high level of stress. Ornamental plants give highly significant reductions in negative mood states – reductions in anger, anxiety, depression, confusion, fatigue and stress. Leaves provide also additional sound attenuation and cooling effect due to evaporation. The paper summarises the R&D project devoted to the development of the efficient, safe and competitive systems of biofiltration based on the properties of potted plants. The paper presents examples of laboratory tests and describes first experiences from applications in two pilot office buildings.

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