By Paul Kurtz

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The Delaware Valley Green Building Council is  hoping that a recently completed project at Drexel University will spur interest in the construction of more “living walls.”

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The wall of lush tropical plants, 20 feet wide and 75 feet high, is what greets students and faculty every day inside Drexel’s Papadakis  Integrated Sciences Building.

The Delaware Valley Green Building  Council oversaw the ambitious project that was unveiled last September (see previous story), and now it’s showcasing it to other environmentally conscious builders looking for the next big thing.

Board member Pat Bolger says a biowall is not only easy on the eyes, it’s also great for cleaning the air thanks to an exposed root system and hungry microbes.

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“You have misting stations behind the wall,” he explains, “and then you have air ducts taking in the ambient air and processing it so you get clean air coming out.  It’s one big air filter that is cleaned by the roots, but you have the aesthetic value of the leaves that make it very warm and inviting.”

The recirculated air cuts out the need for drawing in air from outside, thereby cutting down on energy bills.

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