Lombardini22, Alessandro Adamo talks about La Fabbrica dell’Aria
La Fabbrica dell’Aria® at Lombardini22 – Sharing green intelligence
Can we live in symbiosis with plants? Establish a kind of circular economy with the plant world? Make roots, stems and leaves our co-workers and housemates?
La Fabbrica dell’Aria®, a project by scientist Stefano Mancuso and Pnat, is a laboratory of scientific and technological innovation that purifies indoor air. Now it is also a living forest inside a place of work and design that has always been devoted to experimentation, such as Lombardini22.
Alessandro Adamo, director of DEGW (Lombardini22), explains La Fabbrica dell’aria
The plant world is a system from which we have much to learn. Plants have a diffuse organisation without command centres, capable of responding quickly to change. They can only survive if they have a complete ecosystem and therefore their evolution is based on mutual support, symbiosis and community.
La Fabbrica dell’Aria® is a space that proposes this new knowledge, it is an example of how a non-hierarchical system based on cooperation can produce innovation, real well-being and even beauty.
La Fabbrica dell’Aria® by Lombardini22 has found its place in the new spaces to which the Business Units most directly related to energy sustainability and atmospheric qualities of the environment have moved: L22 Engineering & Sustainability, CAP DC, Atmos.
After visiting the first prototype, which had just been built at the time, at the Manifattura Tabacchi in Florence, the decision was immediate: Lombardini22 should also have its own Fabbrica dell’Aria®.
“It’s such a beautiful project that the desire to have one in our offices was an immediate reflex, also because it’s a scalable model that can be replicated in other contexts: it was just a question of figuring out where to build our ‘factory’. But good things never come alone, and the opportunity came with the expansion of our headquarters, a large space with an internal patio. The decision was instantaneous: we’re going to do it, and we’re going to do it here!” Elda Bianchi, Partner Lombardini22.
The scientist Stefano Mancuso (founder of ‘plant neurobiology’, professor at the University of Florence, professor at the Accademia dei Georgofili, director of the International Plant Neurobiology Laboratory and author of several books on the importance of the plant world).
How la Fabbrica dell’Aria works
The 35 square metre greenhouse is equipped with a botanical filtration system (Stomata™, patented by Pnat) that amplifies the plants’ natural ability to retain and degrade pollutants, transforming them into plant nutrients. The air is not taken from outside the building but is recirculated indoors: sucked and forced through the plant growth bed, made to flow in contact with the leaves and finally reintroduced purified into the environment itself. This also guarantees energy and economic savings compared to traditional management and maintenance costs, as the air is not heated or cooled but supplied, pure, at the comfort temperature.
While roots and leaves work as filters that are always efficient, a system of sensors allows the improvement of air quality at the entrance and exit to be measured and reported in real time, the values of which are visible on a screen.
The selection of plants prefers those with a large leaf area as the filtering capacity is proportional. La Fabbrica dell’Aria® by Lombardini22 houses tall plants such as Ficus, Kentia, Strelitzia Nicolai; medium-sized plants such as Chamadorea and Strelitzia Reginae; small plants such as Aspidistra and Filodendrum. In addition, climbing plants Cissus rotundifolia and Tetrastigma voinieranum grow on a support network.
Finally, the artificial lighting plays a dual role: indirect white diffused light serving the architectural space and light with variable wavelengths serving the physiology of the plants accompanies the flowering and vegetative phases with appropriate chromatic frequencies.
Lombardini22’s vision for architecture and real estate
The evolved technological device of air purification can potentially be implemented in every real estate development. With the Air Factory® Lombardini22 wants to represent an unconventional way of understanding the atmosphere not only of work spaces but also of hospitality, retail and living. It is a place for the firm’s collaborators, but also a site-specific showcase available to all the players in the real estate sector with whom to concretely build a culture of sustainability based on real wellbeing.
“We hope to convince our clients to put an Air Factory® in their offices, shopping centres, hotels and even – why not? – in some data centres, to help them live better”. Franco Guidi, CEO Lombardini22.