Helsinki airport installs 'smart' green wall

13 March 2017
A view of the 'green wall' at Helsinki-Vantaa International Airport. Source: Finavia

Finavia has partnered with Finnish firm Naava to install a green, air-purifying wall at Gates 31D and 31E in Helsinki-Vantaa International Airport.

The wall, which has a lifetime guarantee, is 9 m wide and 2.7 m tall. It comprises an aluminium base, a wooden frame, and plants such as bird nest fern, heart leaf philodendron, velvet leaf philodendron, and cast-iron-plants, among others. The plants are said to be allergy-free and grown in a soil-free environment, and to have good sound-absorbing properties.

"Our ambitious goal as an airport is to create a customer experience where we can make passengers even a tad more refreshed while travelling," Finavia customer experience manager Johanna Laakso told Jane's . "That was one reason why we wanted Naava smart green walls at the airport when we started redoing the gate area. It's an innovative solution that replaces the old glass wall."

Naava plans to open a US production site in 2017 to service the North American market. Founder and CEO Aki Soudunsaari said that independently verified research proved a standard Naava smart wall (2.1 m high and 1 m wide) had the air purification power of 8,000 house plants.

"Pure air is especially important at airports as people often suffer from travel fatigue and have to spend hours in airplanes breathing dry, man-made airplane air," he explained to Jane's . "Helsinki airport is a pioneer in this respect, which also reflects the fact that Finland's outdoor air is one of the world's purest, according to the World Health Organization."

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