Polluted air contributes to the premature death of tens of thousands in the UK each year. One way to combat poor air quality is through green spaces, however, as much of the city is concrete, finding a place for them in certain parts of the city is difficult. In a sideways move, Mace was commissioned to support the installation of an Aerogation green wall at a new development on Tottenham Court Road. The 4m2 area green wall can produce up to 2 million litres of purified air every 24 hours.
Poor air quality, from a range of pollutants, contributes to around 40,000 early deaths a year in the UK, according to the Royal Colleges of Physicians and of Paediatrics and Child Health. The public health issue is particularly bad in London, with Tottenham Court Road, which is a busy shopping destination and bustling hub of activity, cited as amongst the most polluted in the UK.
In a bid to reduce air pollution in London, the £20 million Air Quality Fund (MAQF) was set up by The Mayor of London in 2013. The fund provides small capital injections to a range of London Borough projects, including those that support freight consolidation, green walls, low emission vehicles, reducing pollution from construction sites and digital signage to reduce engine idling. Earlier this year, it was revealed that £5 million from his fund would be released to support projects across 28 boroughs.
One method for reducing air pollutants is Air purification units (APUs), which include green spaces that integrate plants with technology to leverage the process of phytoremediation – a naturally occurring process of pollutant breakdown. Aerogation is a, patent pending, green-wall design that provides the green wall plants with the basics required to survive on the side of buildings. The biotech allows green walls to significantly improve their natural filtration capacity.
It was recently announced that Mace is working with the Fitzrovia Partnership’s BID (Business Improvement District), Treebox and Exemplar to install an Aerogation green wall at The Avenue site at Tottenham Court Road. The retail and office development will be fitted with a 4m2 area APU that can produce up to 2 million litres of purified air every 24 hours.
Andrew Kinsey, Head of Sustainability for Mace Construction, says: “Our Tottenham Court Road construction site is the first anywhere in London to host these APUs, and we are pleased to be able to play a key part in improving air quality for London. At Mace it is important to us to have a positive impact on the communities in which we work and we are therefore we are delighted to support The Fitzrovia Partnership, the local community and The Mayor of London in making the city a cleaner, and greener, place to live and work.”