Loh Architects Associates Inc. and Ryerson University work to improve building air quality

Toronto-based Loh Architects Associates Inc. and the Research and Innovation office of Ryerson University have initiated a green architecture project to jointly create an eco-informatics database of plants that can be used to improve air quality in buildings.

Over the course of late August and September 2014, Dr. Lesley Campbell and her team at Ryerson’s Department of Biology and Chemistry will identify plants that are efficient at cleansing indoor air with the goal of helping architects and landscape design firms who need specifications on which plants are suitable for sustainable building projects that integrate green air filtration systems.

“Plants naturally sift the world’s air, removing toxins and creating oxygen. By bringing plants indoors and identifying the most efficient species, we can make our indoor environments and activities healthier and more enjoyable, while reducing energy use in buildings”.

Under the joint research venture, Joseph Loh, principal and managing director of Loh Architects Associates, an architectural design veteran whose work includes the design of the Brock University International Centre, plans to use Dr. Campbell’s research to construct cost-effective plant solutions for a number of his green architectural projects.

In addition to benefiting Canadian projects, Loh Architects plans to use the research for an extensive greenhouse ecosystem it has designed as part of a large commercial real-estate complex in China. The Datong Cultural Arts and Recreation Centre in Shanxi province is being built in a city that suffers heavy pollution from three coal-fired power plants within its city limits. Loh Architects has proposed a natural air-refreshing system, and will work with Ryerson to identify which plants will be most effective at filtering pollutants.

The Ryerson University/Loh Architects research initiative addresses green architectural challenges globally and speaks to Canadian universities’ ability to collaborate with private companies seeking to develop and market Canadian innovations.