A group of multidisciplinary Purdue students are working together to design, assemble, and install a Biowall in the Children’s section of the West Lafayette Public Library. A Biowall is a plant-based filter that improves Indoor Environmental Quality by cleaning indoor air and adding a natural aesthetic to the building space. Purdue has been developing Biowall technology since 2012, and this project involves redesigning it to fit into the available space at the library. The new Biowall design incorporates a watering mechanism that allows for children to get actively involved in maintaining the Biowall and learning about sustainability. This project also allowed university students to participate in the design process, manufacturing, and commissioning of the Biowall. Future add-ons to the design include a display to show current Indoor Environmental Quality, buttons to light different sections of the Biowall for an immersed learning experience.

The project involved the participation of two student organizations, the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating & Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) and Boiler Green Initiative (BGI). The students from these organizations were able to learn about the designing and assembly process, while also learning how a Biowall works. The team involved in the project includes Ph.D., Masters, and Undergraduate students. The students involved came from Mechanical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering Technology, Environmental Engineering, and Construction Management Technology. The project involves working with a community partner, West Lafayette Public Library, and working with Purdue Facilities Service Building (PSFB) to assemble the equipment. An undergraduate class also benefitted from the Biowall by leaning the commissioning process by taking measurements of the different components in the Biowall.

Once assembled and tested at the Environmental Chamber in the Applied Energy Lab located at the Knoy Building, the Biowall will be moved and installed in the West Lafayette Public Library. The location allows for the public to learn about the research done by Purdue, the Biowall will be a tool for everyone to learn about the importance of Indoor Environmental Quality, contaminants in the indoor air, and plants that improve Indoor Air Quality. A website which includes more information about the Biowall will also be active with the installation of the Biowall, the website provides for more outreach opportunities. Detailed documentation will be provided to the Library with Standard Operating Procedures.