The green wall system — developed by husband and wife team Jock and Hanna Gammon and their Sydney-based business Junglefy — will combine living plants with custom sensors to measure their capture of airborne pollution.
They are an adaptation of Junglefy’s green walls used on the side of buildings across the city and further afield around Australia. The most prominent of these is the One Central Park building, at the former Carlton United Brewery site on the fringe of Sydney’s CBD.
That project, according to the Junglefy website, involved the installation of more than 35,000 plants across the building’s exterior.
Now, Junglefy has signed a new partnership with the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) and toll roads operator Transurban to trial its green walls as pollution absorbers along two Sydney motorways: the Eastern Distributor and the M2 in the city’s north-west.
“Junglefy has received a $100,000 Building Partnerships grant from the NSW government-backed Jobs for NSW to further test its already proven technology on Sydney’s motorways,” NSW Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney Stuart Ayres said in announcing the trial.
Mr Gammon added that the motorway trial, which he claimed to be among the first of its kind in the world, will provide real-time data on pollution levels along the motorways and the proportion of this pollution able to be captured by green walls.
“Data will be recorded over six months by a research team at the University of Technology Sydney, with results to be written up and peer-reviewed and published,” he said.
According to Mr Gammon, green walls are capable of removing particulate matter and volatile organic compounds from the atmosphere.
“The resilience of mother nature is amazing. During previous research, we put plants in polluted containers for five hours a day, five days a week for five weeks. And while there was pollution on the leaves, the plants performed and survived just fine,” he said.
“They also look beautiful, soften our urban environment, make our cities cooler and provide a habitat for biodiversity.”
Mr Gammon added: “We want to turn our cities into urban jungles with plants growing everywhere.”
In addition to the Australian projects already completed or underway, Junglefy — which currently employs 33 people — is also embarking on international expansion, focusing on Southeast Asia, northern China as well as northern Europe.
“In the next 10 to 15 years, we will see a much bigger uptake of living infrastructure in our cities, because living infrastructure can provide our built environment with natural beauty as well as happier and healthier people,” Mr Gammon said.