Enviro-Stewards of Elmira, Ontario, just completed a 2,500-square-foot renovation to double its office space on the third floor of a 100-year-old furniture factory. Having outgrown its existing space, the environmental consulting firm found opportunity for expansion into the adjacent space. President Bruce Taylor set out to preserve as many historical features as possible, including an exposed brick wall and structural steel beams; he also repurposed the 100-year-old windows into interior office walls. Energy-efficient windows and a bank of standing desks bring the space into the 21st century.
In terms of providing improved air quality and energy conservation, Enviro-Stewards installed a Nedlaw Living Wall Biofilter. During renovations, the team integrated the biofilter into the new HVAC system to provide clean air directly to the offices. The 5- by 6-foot biofilter not only provides virtual outside air to the space, it will also reduce energy costs by reducing fresh air intake requirements.
The company has installed a CO2 detector on the HVAC air return; if the levels are acceptable the system minimizes the air intake, which immediately saves on heating costs. Additionally, a rain barrel collects rooftop rainwater to feed the hydroponic wall; since installation, no city water has been used for the system.
Plus, the living wall is a great visual focal point and symbol of this firm’s mission.
Regardless of their size, all Nedlaw Living Wall Biofilters perform at the same level in terms of removing pollutants from the air. According to Alan Darlington, a small biofilter is equally effective in removing volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from indoor air; watch him present research on Nedlaw Living Wall performance in the field: