Name : Bel-Air
Description : Uses plants and fans to clear the air of toxic chemicals
Cost to develop : $236,000
Time : 1 yearYou home could be emitting toxic gases. Just ask the victims of Hurricane Katrina, whose emergency trailers, made with glue-laden particleboard, let off so much formaldehyde that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned that residents should “spend time outdoors” and “make relocating to permanent housing a priority.” Even in more expensive new homes, the concentration of emissions from things like furniture, carpet and paint can be two to fi ve times as high as it is outdoors. But most air fi lters only catch particulates such as dust and pollen rather than organic compounds like formaldehyde and benzene, and the fi lters that do trap those gases need frequent replacement. So Mathieu LeHanneur and David Edwards built an ultra-effi cient fi ltration system that eliminates toxins using nature’s own hazmat squad: plants.
The duo, a French product designer and a
LeHanneur and Edwards built the Bel-Air for an exhibit at Le Laboratoire, a gallery in