A green wall system is being trialled on two of Sydney’s busiest motorways to reduce air and noise pollution caused by traffic.

Sydney company Junglefy has partnered with Transurban on the ‘breathing wall’ project, which is backed by the NSW Government. The plant-based initiative aims to build and test live breathing walls, which are expected to absorb pollution and traffic sound, and cool air temperatures.

“Junglefy has received a $100,000 Building Partnerships grant from the NSW Government-backed Jobs for NSW to further test its already proven technology on Sydney’s motorways,” minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney Stuart Ayres said.

Observing that their technology is based on what Mother Nature has been doing for billions of years, Junglefy managing director Jock Gammon said that the backing from Jobs for NSW will help fund their research, further prove their technology and pave the way for their expansion internationally.

“Plants are the lungs of our city so it’s incredibly exciting we now have the chance to work with Transurban and UTS Sydney to test our breathing walls on Sydney motorways after proving their effectiveness on numerous sites nationally.

“We will test the walls on motorways by installing sensors to monitor and record pollution levels in real time. Data will be recorded over six months by a research team at the University of Technology Sydney with results to be written up and peer reviewed and published.”

Gammon explained that the breathing walls were scientifically proven to remove particulate matter (PM2.5) and volatile organic compounds. Besides, they also look beautiful, soften the urban environment, make cities cooler and provide a habitat for biodiversity, he added.

Previous research by Junglefy had proven the resilience of plants in a polluted environment. Plants placed in polluted containers for five hours a day, five days a week for five weeks survived just fine, though pollution had collected on the leaves.

According to Gammon, Junglefy’s breathing wall is a modular system that can remove air pollutants faster than any other plant-based system.

The breathing wall technology will be trialled on the Eastern Distributor and Hills M2 motorways. Gammon hopes to eventually see Junglefy breathing walls rolled out on motorways around the world with the company currently targeting international markets in Northern Europe, South East Asia and Northern China.

He also expects a much bigger uptake of living infrastructure in cities in the next 10 to 15 years for its ability to provide the built environment with natural beauty as well as happier and healthier people.