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Abstract

Indoor air quality (IAQ) is an important measure of a healthy environment in which one works or lives. Traditional methods of improving IAQ can be costly. This research evaluated the Biowall designed for the INhome, Purdue University’s 2011 Solar Decathlon entry. The Biowall is a living wall of plants that is integrated with an HVAC system in a building to improve indoor air quality using natural processes. This research tested if the Biowall improves IAQ and reduces air-conditioning energy costs. Data was collected using a web-based control system that tracks energy use, runtime of appliances, levels of CO2 and volatile organic compounds (VOCs), humidity, and temperature of the indoor air. Two different operating modes were evaluated: baseline days and experimental days. This research suggests that the IAQ was improved when the Biowall was operational. Further research into a more efficient Biowall design with less energy requirements is underway.

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