This trans-disciplinary project marks the commencement of a collaboration between UQ and Stantec - a global construction company that develops smart green solutions for the built environment. Air-conditioned buildings have high energy costs due in part to the processing of large amounts of 'fresh air' in order to dilute the internal air of a building so as to avoid symptoms of 'sick building syndrome', that is a public health risk. For a fully-air conditioned building, the Australian Standards call for 10 litres per second of fresh air to be provided into a building per occupant. This requires significant energy and infrastructure to achieve, including fans, filters, large amounts of ductwork, and energy-intensive cooling and heating systems. This practice is universal around the world. Alternatives are sought to reduce the energy footprint of supplying clean air based on circularity. The project explores  plant systems to regenerate indoor air. The candidate will perform (i) a literature review of current knowledge and map potential custom-designed systems, (ii) experiments with miniaturised plant systems. The student is supervised by UQ (plant science, engineering) and Stantec staff and there is an option for a small stipend for an exceptional candidate.

Project members

Professor Susanne Schmidt

School of Agriculture and Food Sciences