In the ever changing interior world of the ISS and other human inhabited space structures to come, modular adaptability of life support structures will be key. The already proven and very successful interior green wall technology that utilizes vertically arrayed plants, is increasingly integrated into modern homes and offices, offering numerous benefits for occupants. From air purification and oxygen generation to providing psychological benefits through more subtle qualities of beauty and aesthetic enhancement, green wall systems are a desirable feature for enclosed spaces, especially those that will be found in space.
With interior volume and surfaces at a premium, the benefits to having modular sections, or mats of algae, moss, or other compact plantlife which recycles air and are also able to be transportable and installed as needed are great and necessary for true long duration activity in enclosed spaces.
We propose the usage of gecko-like van der waals force tape products to form a novel system for the backing of these plant mats, and which will allow them to be affixed to walls, floors, ceilings, and other surfaces, both smooth and irregular, at will. This will allow maximum portability and array customization for these hardy and durable mats. Heretofore, green walls have been a time consuming and laborious endeavor to install, but with the application of new advances in materials science for repeatable, non-sticky surface bonding, they can be easily transformed into modular and adaptable units which can suit the diverse needs of not just those in microgravity, but those back home on Earth.
A living wall is a sustainable technology that turns an inanimate surface into a living ecosystem that purifies the air and provides a natural environment for humans. Working inside of buildings is a relatively new habitat experience for humans, and is an environment which is often stark, unsanitary, and potentially detrimental to the optimum function and development of the human brain. When designing ‘green offices’, emphasis is placed on energy usage and environmentally friendly development companies and practices. This is only a small step in a continuum of ‘green’ building design, one that incorportates nature friendly practices into a very unnatural environment.
The goal of the living wall is to provide a natural interface between the human and the buildings it inhabits. A wall that is made from organisms provides three major benefits: it filters out toxins produced in the air by human activity, produces clean air that delivers a higher oxygen content, and acts as a shield against radiation. This is a closed loop life support system designed initially for extreme environments but can be incorporated into buildings on Earth.