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2019 Greenwich University – Plants ability to absorb Pollution


To investigate the ability of plants on the LivingPillar™ to absorb air pollution CO2, CO & NO2 as well as the measure of relative humidity (RH), air temperature, soil temperature and moisture reading

The process

The process

We carried out this Research with Greenwich University in 2019 as part of a European funded scheme, to evidence the benefits to air quality of planting in the LivingPillars™ that we installed in our pilot scheme in Ebury Street, London, SW1W

Sensors were placed in one of the LivingPillars™ and on a lamp post some distance away

Data was collected between October 2019 and April 2020

Read full report here


  • Long term monitoring showed a small decrease in temperatures in the Living Pillar vs the reference location, as well as a small increase in RH. In terms of CO2, there was at times a small decrease, or an increase in levels at the Living pillar vs the reference location. Soil temperatures are almost identical at the bottom and top position and soil moisture is more than double at the bottom vs the top of the Living pillar.

  • Two, two-week monitoring sample periods confirmed the above findings for the above metrics. Additional metrics that were monitored showed that there was a reduction in CO and NO2 levels at the Living pillar vs the reference location.

  • Results appear to be highly dependent on wind and other local temporary conditions. Additional greenery on the Living pillar is likely to have a greater effect due to the greater microclimatic area that would be created around the Living pillar which would be due to the additional mass of the structure and the additional greenery that will be present.

  • The live data that we receive from our current LivingPillar™ sensors show that when irrigated, the temperature of the soil can be up to 20deg C lower than the air temperature. The cooling nature of all planting is especially relevant to combatting the Heat Island Effect and cooling our buildings


The LivingPillars™ have been designed to encourage biodiversity but they are also able to absorb pollutants. The information from this research has helped us develop the sensors that we use today

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