NY10024 - Indoor-plant technology for health and environmental sustainability

International research has demonstrated that indoor plants can substantially improve indoor environmental quality, reducing all major types of urban air pollution and directly improving health and wellbeing of occupants. Our UTS studies have shown that indoor plants can significantly reduce volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and CO2, two classes of air pollutant always higher indoors than outside, even in the centre of the city. Indoor plants have potential for further development so that they can be installed to bring about significant reductions in loads on the air-conditioning (A-C) of city buildings, by reducing the frequency with which the A-Cs must cut in to refresh air when CO2 levels get too high. A recent UTS office study showed us that any plant CO2 reductions may be masked by modern A-C systems, indicating potentially unnecessary energy use. The building sector accounts for one third of global energy use, so reductions here would contribute to sustainability goals.