Manely Firm - May 2019

211 Roswell St. NE, Marietta, GA 30060 (770) 421-0808


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Traveling Across the World

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The Healthiest Building in New Delhi

G rowing F resh A ir A Look at the Heal thiest Bui lding in New Delhi

Imagine you are told you must leave the city you work and live in because it’s killing you. Hard to fathom, isn’t it? But this actually happened to Kamal Meattle, a researcher, activist, and New Delhi native, who was told by doctors that the city’s air quality was a threat to his health. His lung capacity had gone down 70 percent, and doctors suggested he leave New Delhi. Instead, Meattle chose to stay and find an innovative solution to his health problems and the city’s air quality crisis. New Delhi is no stranger to poor air quality. Sometimes pollution gets so bad it warrants a city-wide warning for kids to stay inside. Meattle, who studied engineering at MIT, turned to research by NASA and other organizations to address the issue. During his research, Meattle found there are three common house plants that excel at removing dangerous chemical compounds, like formaldehyde and carbon monoxide, from the air: the areca palm, the snake plant (or mother-in-law’s tongue), and the money plant. Using these plants, Meattle created an indoor plant-based air filtering system that allows his building,

the Paharpur Business Center (PBC), to cultivate all the fresh air it needs. Air entering the building is cleaned by a scrubber, then is filtered through the building’s extensive greenhouse to remove chemicals and bacteria. The greenhouse, and the rest of the building, is filled with areca palms, snake plants, and money plants. Today, the PBC is the healthiest building in New Delhi. Twenty years after Meattle rolled out his plant-based filter system, the results speak for themselves. Employee productivity has gone up 20 percent. Respiratory problems have gone down by 34 percent, headaches by 24 percent, and lung impairment by 12 percent, among other health benefits. Just stepping into Paharpur boosts your health: Blood oxygen levels go up by 1 percent after 10 hours in the PBC. Meattle has remained in New Delhi and is set on helping other Indian businesses replicate his plant-based system, so they can grow their own fresh air. As he says of his decision to stay, “Either you are overwhelmed by the fact that there are so many problems and so many people, or you find solutions to help in any way you can.”


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