Accelerating the biological power of plants
We have invested in the research of plant technology and have partnered with academic institutions to provide us with intelligence on how our systems can perform better. In 2014, with the assistance of a state and federal government grants we funded a research project with the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) Plants and Environmental Quality Research Group to put the Junglefy Breathing Wall through advanced and rigorous scientific testing to ensure its safety, viability and efficiency.
This research proved that the Junglefy Breathing Wall can clean air faster than any other plant-based system on the market. View the research findings here.
Innovation is at the heart of everything we do
We continually strive to enhance our living infrastructure projects through supporting plant technology research. We are investing in several other projects to further our knowledge on accelerating the biological power of plants.
The Junglefy Breathing Wall
The success of the Junglefy Breathing Wall has encouraged us to further investigate how we can improve on its performance and functionality. We continue to conduct high level testing in the UTS lab to uncover more data and information on polluted environments and growing media. This research involves Computational Flow Dynamic modelling of the air exchange rate capabilities of the system to permit predictions of the potential air quality improvements that can be achieved with in-situ installations.
The Breathing Wall at the Lendlease head office is an ongoing testing ground for studies by the UTS team, as they measure the performance of the wall over a long-term period.
We hope to accurately determine, through research on the Junglefy Breathing Wall, how our systems can integrate closely with HVAC systems to maximise performance. The research will compare both current and modified versions of the wall against commercial air purification devices.
The integration of the Junglefy Breathing Wall with HVAC systems, will hopefully lead to a decreased reliance on air conditioning, resulting in better air quality and reduced running costs.
Melbourne University, Burnley Campus Green Roof Demonstration Centre
In partnership with Melbourne University and HASSELL, Junglefy installed a green roof at the campus to provide a practical example to help drive industry uptake of green roofs and provide a world-class research and teaching facility. The green roof serves as an ongoing resource for research on the drought tolerance of Australian plant species, biodiversity and environmental performance of buildings. Learn more about this project.
A collaboration with Fifth Creek Studios, involved Junglefy installing a green roof at ANZ in Adelaide. We created two green roofs at different depths on the same floor to measure the insulation value (R-value) and the air temperature adjacent to a green roof installation.
The study concluded that green roofs benefit individual buildings and cities by providing significant insulation. These research findings serve to inform the industry on roof design, particularly in hot, dry climates.
Water use is an ongoing area of research for Junglefy and we have installed a trial at our nursery in Sydney. This trial is comparing a Japanese green roof system against our existing green roof system without the use of any irrigation installed. The trial gardens were installed in February 2016 and have not been watered beyond the initial establishment. The 2016/17 summer in Sydney was one of the hottest on record combined with one of the wettest Autumns and the green roofs have continued to thrive. We will continue to measure how this garden performs over time and use this information to direct future green roof projects.
The use of carbon dioxide in plants is an ongoing area of study for Junglefy and we recently participated in a study with Geoff Kovacevic, from Curtin University. This study investigates the carbon sequestration of our green walls in the city and once the study concludes we will share the research findings.
A study was undertaken by Katherine Berthon from Macquarie University on the Invertebrate Biodiversity found at ‘One Central Park’ in Sydney. The living infrastructure installed on this building is one of Junglefy’s most renowned projects and we were engaged to facilitate the setting of traps on the roof and façade.
The data collected from this research project showed that there was a high diversity of insects found on the roofs and façade of the building, which would not have been present had there been no living infrastructure. The research also uncovered six kinds of wasps that were only found on this building and up to 12 major groups of species were found.
Green Wall Species Selection
We aim to provide a varied range of plant species for all our living infrastructure projects. To facilitate the biodiversity of our offering, we are continually trialling new species out at our nursery to increase the plant species and numbers that will be contained in our plant modules. This will lead to greater value for our clients and a more diverse range of species for each project.
A research project was undertaken to assess and drive growth in the living infrastructure industry within Australia. A research group was comprised of UTS (Associate Professor Sara J Wilkinson), Horticulture Innovation Australia (HIA) and other key industry stakeholders, to inform and influence change to policy around greening cities and to encourage market growth. Junglefy’s role will be to provide project guidance and assist with stakeholder engagement.
Assessment & Product Development
The Junglefy team are experts in their fields and have hands-on experience from Junglefy’s completed living infrastructure projects. Our maintenance team regularly provide feedback on the performance of our projects to inform our knowledge on how we can continue to innovate and improve on our design, construction and maintenance offerings.
Third generation of modules
Our living infrastructure projects are only as successful as the products and systems we use. We continually assess the way our green wall and Breathing Wall modules are designed and manufactured to ensure the best delivery of irrigation, nutrients and light to the plants. Junglefy are now using third generation plant modules with a more refined design. We are currently in the process of working on the fourth generation of the modules which will incorporate changes that will benefit the long-term outcome for our living infrastructure projects.
Lighting and Monitoring
Light is essential for plant function and health. Through our years of research, we have experimented with various lighting systems to improve the overall outcome of the living infrastructure project. This study hopes to uncover how changes to lighting can affect CO2 removal rates and provide predictions on how the lighting system will affect long-term air quality and plant health. Future research will look at lighting for plants and how this can affect a human’s circadian rhythm.
Monitoring & Controls
A successful living infrastructure project also needs to possess sophisticated technical monitoring to cater to changes in the surrounding air and light. Junglefy are currently undertaking research in to real-time data measurement of air purification. The real-time data collected will provide information to the monitoring system so real time changes can be made to the controls to provide the optimum requirements for the living infrastructure. The collected information will also provide much needed data for engineers and designers to make informed decisions about the benefits of Living Infrastructure
Why we love plants
Decades of research have proven that plants can enhance indoor air quality and reduce all types of urban air pollutants. Plants sequester carbon dioxide for the process of photosynthesis and in doing so, fresh oxygen is produced as a by-product. Plants have a symbiotic relationship with micro-organisms that live in soil and on plant roots. These healthy micro critters have been proven to take in volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and other air contaminants, filtering the indoor air. As plants move water from their roots to the rest of the plant, water evaporates from leaves, creating a more cool and comfortable ambient temperature. There is an international body of evidence that suggests these beneficial effects of indoor plants are positively linked to human health, psychological wellbeing and workplace productivity.
Did you know?
Air pollution is a major international health, environmental and economic issue. Most modern buildings are tightly sealed against the external environment, with ventilation fully dependent on HVAC systems. Indoor air pollution is almost always more concentrated than outdoor air pollution — as outdoor-sourced contaminants enter through natural or mechanical ventilation, mixing with indoor-sourced pollutants, such as CO2 and VOCs found in many building materials and cleaning products. These pollutants then become trapped inside sealed buildings, and grow ever more concentrated.
This is a major health problem, considering approximately 80% of the residents of developed countries live in urbanised areas, and spend on average 90% of their time indoors.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) air pollution is now the world’s largest single environmental health risk. Health problems associated with indoor air pollution include: asthma and changes in lung function, cardiovascular diseases and adverse pregnancy outcomes. In 2012, poor indoor and outdoor air quality was associated with 3.7 million premature deaths worldwide.
Benefits of Living Infrastructure
- Improved Air Quality
Beautifying Buildings and The Cityscape
- Supporting Local Biodiversity
- Insulating Buildings from Heat and Noise
- Creating New Open Space for Recreation and Food Growing
- Extending Roof Life by Protecting the Waterproofing Layer from Weather and Temperature Changes
- Improving Solar Panel Efficiency
- Cooling City Temperatures and Reducing the Urban Heat Island Effect
- Slowing and Cleaning Storm Water Runoff from Buildings