Leading horticultural and biophilic company I Want Plants has been awarded a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) from Innovate UK.
The six-figure grant, to be matched by the leading independent company, has been secured to support I Want Plants in developing a new sector leading scientific capability within the company to demonstrate the effectiveness of its HYVERT walls – living green walls designed, grown and built in Manchester – in improving urban environments.
The business will, together with Manchester Metropolitan University, one of the UK’s greenest universities, scientifically quantify exactly how much CO2 and NO2 gases HYVERT is able to remove from the atmosphere.
The work will be led by a senior specialist researcher whose employment will be supported by the funding and take two years to complete.
Speaking on the KTP award and his aspiration to transform UK cities into sustainable green spaces, Managing Director of I Want Plants, Richard Rowlands, said: “We’re extremely proud to be pioneers in green infrastructure design and maintenance, and believe that making room for nature in our urban cities is the future.
“Our HYVERT walls enable planners, developers and business owners to add a vertical green solution where ground space isn’t available and enjoy all the environmental benefits that they bring, including improving air quality by reducing carbon and nitrogen dioxide and releasing oxygen, providing a visually attractive environment, supporting mental wellbeing, improving building acoustics by absorbing unwanted noise, and boosting biodiversity.
“With the support of the Knowledge Transfer Partnership and Manchester Metropolitan University we are thrilled to be able to work towards developing a new sector capability, further scientifically quantifying the environmental benefits of our living green walls and, together with key decision makers, paving the way for greener, more environmentally friendly environments.”
Dr David Megson, Director of the Ecology and Environment Research Centre at Manchester Metropolitan University, said: “This work is of significant importance, presenting the opportunity for us to improve the quality of our environments and pave the way for more sustainable, carbon neutral cities. In addition to carbon capture we are also really interested to see what additional benefits this green infrastructure can have on local air quality and biodiversity.”
I Want Plants launched HYVERT last year (2020) having been inspired by developments in Hong Kong, which demonstrated how green spaces could be introduced in urban cities.
The innovative vertical gardens are designed, grown and built in Manchester and can be designed for interior and exterior spaces.
In May of this year (2021) the business unveiled its largest HYVERT wall to date at Bruntwood Works’ pioneering BLOC building, a wellbeing-focused oasis that supports a positive work-life balance.
The living wall, measuring 208 sqm, sees 19,968 plants adorn the exterior walls of the impressive building.
Further examples of I Want Plants’ HYVERT walls can be seen at another project for Bruntwood IC1 Science Park in Liverpool, Bentley Motors in Crewe, Australasia, Albert’s Schloss and independent grocery store, Unicorn, in Chorlton.
Established in 1974, I Want Plants is one of the UK’s leading independent suppliers of horticultural and biophilic displays. The company works alongside some of the country’s most influential interior designers to create displays which can be seen at a wide range of venues from offices, restaurants and hotels to cruise ships, shopping malls and schools.
I Want Plants is headquartered in the Cheshire countryside. The office barn is set on a four-acre field, which includes a nursery for HYVERT production as well as storage for Custom Installation and aftercare teams. The heat regulated hothouses hold a stunning collection of tropical plants. An impressive showroom features live and artificial signature displays, handcrafted containers and show stopping trees.