Seventeen years ago Kamal Meattle found out that the air in his home city of Dehli was killing him. He had grown allergic to the pollutants in the air and his lung capacity started declined to 70%. He began researching and found that these three plants can provide a human with all the fresh air they need indoors to be healthy. The three plants are the Areca Palm, the Mother-in-law’s Tongue , and the Money Plant.
- The Areca Palm (or Chrysalidocarpus lutescens) is does great air cleansing work during the day. About 4 shoulder height plants per person should do the trick.
- The Mother-in-law’s Tongue (or Sansevieria trifasciata) takes over by converting CO2 to O2 at night. You want about 6 to 8 of these waist high plants per person.
- The Money Plant (or Epipremnum aureum) does the job of filtering out removing Formaldehyde and other VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds).
According to Meattle if you have sufficient quantities of these plants you could live in an air tight bubble and as long as the plants are living you'd have enough fresh air to live. Now this isn't just some half-baked theory he had one morning over coffee, he has been testing this theory out for the last 15 years at the at Paharpur Business Centre, a 20 year old, 50,000 sq ft building by filling it with over 1,200 plants for 300 building occupants.
The Indian Government has rated the building the healthiest buidling in Delhi, and studies have shown that after spending 10 hours in the building your body will be working better than before.
Aside from being a natural and beatiful source of fresh air, this method also helps reduce energy consumption, because you don't need to filter or bring fresh air in.
Now Meattle, has big plans. He aims to employ recreate this concept in a much larger 1.75 million ft2 building by using over 60,000 indoor plants. Construction starts this year and should be finished by 2011, but you can be up an running in your home in a couple hours!
Check out his site: GreenSpaces