A Helsinki of rainforests and mosses

Have a look at the University’s first iPad publication and learn more about green treasures in Helsinki

A Helsinki of rainforests and mosses

“We will start offering aeroponic green roofs next year,” enthuses Mikko Sonninen, who has studied forest sciences and plant biology as well as tropical and development studies on the Viikki Campus. Come again? Aeroponic roofs?

Sonninen’s company, Green House Effect, provides offices and other interiors with green walls inhabited by rainforest flora in a nutrient medium. The company’s hydroponics solutions will now be complemented by aeroponics products, and the offering will also include roof structures.

The range of species will also expand: in the future, Green Canvas walls will grow salads, herbs and other useful plants. “What is more, we’ve conducted successful long-term experiments on moss hydroponics indoors,” says Jaakko Pesonen, a partner in Green House Effect and a student at the Department of Forest Sciences.

The company has not suffered from any lack of activity, with the Habitare interior design fair, the technology industry’s HI Design exhibition and the national housing fair keeping everyone busy. Green House Effect is attracting attention and reaping rewards. Orders abound and patent applications are pending.

The entrepreneurs also plan to design more plant elements for private homes. Not only do the products of Sonninen, Pesonen and partners provide aesthetic pleasure and nutrition, they also have a purifying effect: for example, the plants can be effective in removing toxins such as benzene from indoor air.

The business idea that blossomed from Sonninen’s love for rainforests, terraria and poison dart frogs has tropical roots but caters to northern needs. Nevertheless, Green House Effect continues to donate funds to protect 1,000 square metres of rainforest for each square metre of plant wall it sells.

Download the new HUB from the App Store

More stories related to Sonninen’s business idea and the multitudinous rainforest studies carried out at the University of Helsinki can be found in the first iPad edition of HUB, the University’s international magazine published today.

This special edition, published in honour of the Helsinki Design Capital year, also includes articles about green roofs found elsewhere in Helsinki, as well as about the University’s other Green Zone projects organised as part of the World Design Capital year. Download the iPad HUB free of charge from App Store for yourself, or to share with colleagues and associates.

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Text: Virve Pohjanpalo
Photo: Helsinki University Bulletin
Translation: Language Services, University of Helsinki
University of Helsinki, digital communications

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