Walls that breathe

Living walls offer more than aesthetics–they’re natural air purification systems too, according to this article in the Globe and Mail

Alan Darlington, president of Nedlaw Living Walls, a company that builds vertical gardens. The idea stemmed from research funded by the Canadian and European Space Agencies to find ways of purifying contaminated air. The concept was to be applied in future lunar stations, but Darlington saw the potential for living walls right here on Earth.

He claims the vegetation cleans air of volatile organic compounds, contaminants typically emitted from some paints, new furniture and equipment. Studies have shown that VOCs can be harmful to human health if they are inhaled regularly over a long period of time. By relying on living walls to clear the air, businesses can help cut energy costs in ventilation. 

If you’re thinking of installing a living wall in a commercial building in Canada, here are a few links to get you started:


  • Nedlaw Living Walls, the concept for which was originally developed at the Controlled Environment Systems research facility at the University of Guelph
  • Vertigrow, a company that can set up a living wall in just one day. They also offer two options for maintenance: they can send a technician to maintain the wall on a monthly basis, or provide training on how to maintain the living wall
  • ELT Easy Green makes green roofs and living walls
  • Green over Grey, based in Vancouver, uses a soil-free design
  • Ambius offers a range of landscaping services, including interior green walls