Balfour Beatty install polluting-busting ‘green wall’ by roadside

Building firm Balfour Beatty Living Places has teamed up with Biotecture to install air pollution-busting ‘green walls’ beside a road in Southampton.

Hydroponic living walls are verticle installations which feature living plants and foliage that grow without needing soil. The structures absorb air pollutants such as carbon dioxide (CO2), sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and particulate matter.

The project is a UK first and is being delivered on behalf of Southampton City Council, with work expected to be completed by the end of 2019.

The wall will form part of the newly reconstructed Millbrook Roundabout that Balfour Beatty Living Places completed earlier this year. The company will now install the foundations and six-metre-high steel frame, while Biotecture will design and position the hydroponic living wall.

Balfour Beatty Living Places Managing Director, Steve Helliwell, said: ‘We are incredibly proud to be working with Southampton City Council and Biotecture on this flagship project – a first in the UK.

‘This is a project which has the potential to transform the way we sustainably deliver highways schemes across the industry.’

Artist’s impression of the wall in Southampton.

Earlier this year, Southampton City Council outlined plans to make Southampton a cleaner, healthier city by launching its Green City Charter.

Among the commitments made in the Green City Charter include a plan for Southampton to be a carbon-neutral city by 2030 and a pledge to cut emissions.

The nine-point charter was first announced by the council back in January and was formally adopted back in March following public consultation.

Cllr Jacqui Rayment, Cabinet Member for Transport & Public Realm, said: ‘The Living Wall project at Millbrook Roundabout is the first of its kind in the UK. It’s an exciting way to make our public spaces more attractive whilst at the same time having a beneficial effect on the environment.

‘Investing in greening projects like this will play an important part in safeguarding our local environment for future generations.’