Heathrow installs Garden Gate to enhance passenger experience
London’s Heathrow Airort has stepped up its green efforts with the launch of a "living wall."
The so-called Garden Gate at Terminal 3's Gate 25 has been installed by green building specialist Biotecture and will be done on a trial basis for the next six months to see if the promised "eco-sanctuary" within Europe's busiest airport delivers the anticipated improvement in passenger experience, reports the website Business Green.
The installation features seven 1.8m-tall by 2.4m-wide panels each featuring 240 plants that have been specially selected to absorb the air around them and transfer it to their roots, where organisms turn some air particles into food for the plant.
So-called "living walls" are an increasingly popular green building technique, with advocates arguing that the approach can improve air quality, reduce stress and enhance productivity among occupants, and reduce flood risks when used externally.
The unveiling of the wall comes just days after a new study from Harvard University detailed how green buildings deliver significant health and productivity benefits for occupants.
Heathrow, which is awaiting an imminent government decision on whether its controversial plans for a new runway will be given the green light, said it will look to install more Garden Gates at the airport if the trial proves successful.
"We are proud to have received our best ever passenger service scores to date this summer, but we are always keen to make our passengers' journeys better," said Emma Gilthorpe, strategy director at Heathrow, in a statement. "With our new Garden Gate, our passengers can enjoy a natural sanctuary of rest and relaxation as they make their way through the airport, with 1,680 plants ready to see them on their way."
Richard Sabin, director at Biotecture, said the new project was the "latest, and perhaps most iconic, living wall representing the advancement of eco-technologies in the UK".
"The world's major cities are increasingly investing in green infrastructure, and the Garden Gate, both technically and ecologically, is cutting edge for its ease of installation, unique plant selection and LED lighting system," he said. "As the nexus of transit and technology, transportation hubs are ideal locations for green infrastructure to become an investment in public health and well-being."
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