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Main research question/goal

Certain plants can favorably influence the air quality in an indoor or outdoor space. The effect can be air-purifying, therapeutic, or climate-regulating, among others. The scientific knowledge in this area is currently under development. ILVO was part of one of the first five Operational Groups or EIPs approved in Flanders (European think tanks with scientists and companies), more specifically the 'GREEN-AIR' group. The members are the Flemish Environment Agency, 8 companies and green services and on the research side the Technology Platform for Ornamentals (ie UGent, PCS, HoGent and ILVO) and the University of Antwerp. The main objective of GREEN-AIR is to 1) make a preliminary assessment of the knowledge of plants and their effect on air quality, 2) the actors involved, such as producers, end-users and knowledge centers, by mutual agreement, to identify the knowledge gaps and the needs around this theme.

Research approach

Over a period of 2 years, the GREEN-AIR operational group collected data on the extra functions that can be attributed to plants on the basis of scientific findings. Through interactive sessions, a seminar and a practical brochure, we distributed this data to the sector in the broadest sense. Currently we are working on an international cooperation to spread the knowledge further to producers in Europe.

The knowledge accumulated within this operational group has provided the Flemish ornamental grower with a way to adapt ornamental crops to a current social need, namely the desire to improve the indoor and outdoor climate. This knowledge enables the sector to market itself differently (both locally and internationally). We expect increasing diversification and production. The project results are also useful for the municipal green sector. They ask for scientific clarity about the most optimal air quality-enhancing planting in an urban environment. The same applies to green supply companies for buildings, constructors of vertical gardens or green roofs, environmental services and private and public services looking for scientific substantiation of the effects of integrating green elements.
Effective start/end date1/10/1630/09/18

ID: 4637172