University of Windsor’s Biofilter Living Walls: A Breath of Fresh Air for Campus Sustainability

The University of Windsor, renowned for its dedication to sustainability, initiated a project earlier this year to upgrade its existing living walls with two state-of-the-art Biofilter Living Walls (Biofilters). Working in partnership with New Earth Solutions, a leader in the green construction industry, the primary goal of this project was to not only elevate the aesthetics of the campus but to create a healthier and more sustainable environment for the university’s community.


The existing infrastructure had become outdated on two of the major living walls on campus, prompting the need for a comprehensive assessment and redesign. New Earth Solutions was tasked with the mission of removing the previous living walls, a process that required meticulous planning and execution. The tear-down process involved removing thousands of plants, power washing the eroding structure, and eliminating debris and build-up from the previous system. This phase of the project took one week per living wall, a testament to the intricacy of the task.


With the removal of the outdated infrastructure completed, the university’s objectives were twofold. First, they aimed to significantly enhance indoor air quality by implementing state-of-the-art Biofilterl technology, designed to actively remove toxins from the air indoors. The Respira Pro Biofilter, featuring an impressive 83% removal efficiency of tested VOCs, became the cornerstone of this endeavor. Second, the university sought to reduce energy consumption and extend the lifetime of the Biofilter systems through innovative solutions.


The Respira Pro Biofilter, installed by New Earth Solutions, emerged as a game-changer. Placed in both the Centre for Engineering Innovation (CEI) and the Medical building, these walls naturally purify over 20,000 CFM (Cubic Feet per Minute) of air, significantly improving indoor air quality. 

The new Biofilters are exceptionally low maintenance, thanks to integrated lighting solutions and optimized growing media. The New Earth Solutions team seamlessly integrated the Respira Pro Biofilter into the existing HVAC system, providing the university with the most up-to-date Biofilter technology. The structure of the system, composed of synthetic, self-contained grow media and medical-grade plastic, proved resilient to environmental challenges, ensuring the system’s long-term sustainability.


The results of this endeavor have already shown to be transformative and will continue to make an impact on the University campus for years to come. The new infrastructure consumes 70% less energy due to reduced pump usage and retrofitted LED grow lights. The reduction in pump usage also doubles the life expectancy of the mechanical components within the system. These Biofilter Living Walls now not only contribute to the campus’s beauty and sustainability initiatives but also create a healthy ecosystem for all occupants to enjoy. The University of Windsor’s commitment to innovation, sustainability, and a healthier living environment sets a remarkable example for campuses worldwide. This project is not just about enhancing the aesthetics of one university campus; it’s about breathing life into a more sustainable future.