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Company Overview. Botanic Air Corporation (BAC) will design, build and operate indoor plant wall (aka green wall, living wall) installations to measurably improve indoor air quality (IAQ) and other/below “clean tech” benefits at commercial and institutional buildings and facilities.

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Company overview

Company Overview

Botanic Air Corporation (BAC) will design, build and operate indoor plant wall (aka green wall, living wall) installations to measurably improve indoor air quality (IAQ) and other/below “clean tech” benefits at commercial and institutional buildings and facilities.

BAC will use phytoremediation (plant bio-filtration) and ultraviolet photocatalytic oxidation, actively integrated with building HVAC systems. Success will be demonstrated by pre and post treatment measurement of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), HVAC energy use, CO2 emissions, and occupant/worker health and productivity.

BAC is seeking $112,500 in seed capital funding to develop and build a first prototype, and subsequently $2 million for about 40 operating trial installations in commercial and institutional buildings prior to a national roll-out.(contact: Mike McCarthy, 1-206-661-4871,



  • Most indoor air quality (IAQ) pollutants (formaldehyde and other toxic gaseous volatile organic compounds (VOCs) come from sources inside the building: chemical and biological contaminants from adhesives, carpeting, upholstery, manufactured wood products, copy machines, pesticides, and cleaning agents, which may emit VOCs. Indoor air is typically 2-5 times, even 100 times, more polluted than outdoor air.

  • Exposure to VOCs can cause headaches, acute illnesses (asthma, nausea) and chronic diseases- cancer, immunologic, neurologic, reproductive, developmental, and respiratory disorders.

  • Most sick building syndrome (SBS) is related to poor IAQ and VOCs, causing- irritation of the eyes, nose, throat; neurotoxic or general health problems; skin irritation; nonspecific hypersensitivity reactions; and odor and taste sensations.

  • Typical HVAC systems filter particulates, but cannot remove gaseous VOCs, or deliver the 30% minimum indoor humidity level.

  • Of more than 70 million Americans working indoors, 21 million are exposed to poor IAQ,

  • 40% of absenteeism and 12% reduction in productivity is attributed to poor IAQ. 30% of the buildings in the United States and the world experience IAQ problems.

  • Increasing the building intake of outdoor air (ventilation) to dilute and discharge indoor VOCs increases HVAC energy cost for heating/cooling/filtering and is often not an attractive option due to outdoor air pollution.

  • Commercial buildings in North America contribute 18% of total world carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.



  • Phytoremediation of indoor air utilizes plants to remove, reduce, or neutralize environmental contaminants and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) such as formaldehyde, in the air of offices and other enclosed buildings.

  • Evidence exists of the ability of plants to balance indoor humidity, reduce CO2 and VOCs, and remove airborne particles, also reducing stress, improving actual and perceived health, mood, and productivity.

  • OSHA estimates employers could save $15 billion yearly from increased employee productivity and attendance due to better indoor air quality.

  • Plants reduce the need for outside air intake and so reduce HVAC energy cost, and balance the indoor humidity level to the desirable 30-55% range.

  • Plants convert CO2 to carbohydrates and oxygen during photosynthesis, thereby reducing building CO2 emissions.

  • Ultraviolet photocatalytic oxidation (PCO) is also used for removal of VOCs, and requires less energy to operate than many existing filter systems, reducing VOCs to water and CO2.

  • Going beyond merely decorative plant wall systems, BAC will develop attractive plant wall installations using phytoremediation plus PCO, actively integrated into building HVAC systems, providing continuous indoor area wide re-circulation of the treated air. BAC will include means for on-site ongoing measurement of pre and post treatment 1- IAQ, (such as humidity, CO2, particulates, and VOCs- formaldehyde, ozone, etc.) 2- HVAC energy, 3- CO2 emissions, and 4- occupant or worker health and productivity.

  • “If you can’ t measure it, you can’t manage it.” BAC will provide measurable solutions and results, with a data and metrics based bottom line cost benefit approach to indoor air quality, HVAC energy consumption, CO2 emissions, and occupant/worker health/productivity at commercial and institutional facilities.

Business model

Business Model

  • A plant wall installation lease setup fee is based on customer ROI calculation, using example: using 1 plant per 100 sq. ft or per 1 employee, savings of 3.6% employee absentee cost (@ $1,300/year per worker x 16 workers per 16 plants = $20,800 benefit per BAC panel. Setup fee of $15,000 per BAC panel for 16 workers, versus $20,800 absentee cost for 16 workers = savings of $5,800/yr per 16 workers. BAC 4’x8’ panel has 16 plants.

  • Additional customer value is from Green Building LEED certification (LEED IEQc3.2 pre-occupancy requires formaldehyde, CO, and total VOCs levels), generating 3.5% higher occupancy rates, 3% higher rental rates, 6.6% higher ROI, and 7.5% higher building value.

  • Single 4’x8’ panel module estimated cost is $3,000-$5,000; variable is largely dependent on cost of VOC/CO2/humidity sensor and data logging and analysis.

  • An annual lease service fee is based on meeting benchmark results metrics for IAQ levels, HVAC energy consumption, CO2 emissions, and occupant/worker health, and/or attendance and productivity.

  • Installation setups are done by BAC; maintenance/service is done by trained local interior plantscape partners, or other trained industry partners, under license and training/monitoring by BAC quality technicians, or by BAC staff. BAC maintains overall design, training, and quality assurance.

  • Customers are primarily commercial and institutional building and facility owners and managers, employers and tenants, in the US and abroad.

  • BAC retains ownership of all installation elements- plants, structures, sensors, equipment, IT, IP, and all appropriate procedures and patents. Installations are leased, not sold.

  • BAC will pursue legal & practical operating procedures to protect all IP elements.



  • As of September 1, 2012 no customers, no contract, no prototype, no funding, $0 capital/equity/debt as of September 2012. Founder’s research/editing since Jan. 2012 is ongoing; D-U-N-S and WA UBI# obtained. “Botanic Air Corporation” name has been reserved with State of Delaware. US Patent Pending; two existing related phytoremediation patents have been identified.

  • Business Plan, PowerPoint, webpage, investor portal company profile are completed. Company has submitted to present at NW Energy Angels and also registered at other online angel investor portals including. Several green buildings/clean tech/building services potential strategic partners, investors, professionals have been contacted; communications with a VP at a prominent western DBOM firm since late April: “keep in touch”.

  • Comment from Sustainability Solutions Practice Director at Design Build Operate Program Manager at global engineering leader CH2M Hill, "It sounds like your system will provide innovative solutions for building owners, and we may be interested in applying it for our clients once you have it commercialized."

  • One south Seattle incubator office/workshop site is under consideration.

  • Product is in development; two prototype 4’x8’ expanded aluminum 2”mesh screens for prototype plant wall structure have been purchased by Founder.

  • Several Advisors in relevant fields have been identified and interviewed.

  • Confirmation from an Advisor that no other similar installations exist (i.e. plant walls with HVAC integration and measurable IAQ results).

  • (“Traction is simply forward progress on all fronts – finding potential customers, generating PR, recruiting key employees, and building an early prototype of your product. These are all the basic elements to show that you are actually starting a company.” )

Execution plan

Execution Plan

  • First objective is to fund, design, build, and operate a prototype as soon as possible. A further four prototypes to be built and installed in first full year (2013), 12 test installations in second full year (2014), 25 installations in the third full year (2015), prior to a national roll out. Installation setup and annual service fees will provide revenue starting 2014. Prototypes and beta/test may be sponsored by employers/tenants and/or building owners and managers.

  • Collaborate with Seattle colleges/employers to perform preliminary studies on technologies, HVAC designs/energy, CO2 behavior, lighting, metering/sensors

  • Use Advisors and contractors to design, build, install and operate prototypes

  • In 2016 a USA national rollout by five regions, each with a regional BAC office

  • To start this, $60,000 immediate capital is needed, then $56,000 in 3 months, per Executive Summary K. Financials, and slide #11 following.

  • Seattle, Western, and US area target markets will be surveyed with first funding to determine marketability, customers, and pricing of installations setup and annual service.

  • Begin recruiting management team in 2014 with revenue stream, CEO first/soon as feasible to replace Founder as CEO.

  • Be guided by principles in The Lean Startup (Eric Ries, author) and Built to Last (Jim Collins, author).

Addressable market

Addressable Market

  • Office buildings, over three quarter million buildings, represent about 22% of total US commercial buildings. 30% of the buildings in the United States experience indoor air quality problems.

  • Up to 60 million people working indoors suffer with eye, nose and throat irritation, headache and fatigue (60 mlln people = 60mlln plants = 4.6mlln. BAC 4’x8’ panels)

  • The five billion square feet (= 3.125mlln of BAC 4’x8’ panels of 16 plants each) of private office space located in the 91 markets served by BOMA’s local associations provide work space for an estimated 21 million office jobs (5blln sq.ft./21mlln jobs = 238 sq.ft. per job/person; 21mlln people = 21mlln plants = 1.3mlln. BAC panels).

  • Average of 1.3 and 3.125 and 4.6 mlln. = 3.0mlln. @ 30% with IAQ problems = 900,000 panels estimated addressable market, @ $10,000 per panel = $9 billion, @ $ 5,000 per panel= $4.5 billion.

  • Target markets are facilities with: 1) SBS/VOCs, 2) 24/7 occupancy, 3) Green Building/LEED goals, 4) IAQ high value (high salaries, payroll), 5) desirable/high facility profile 6) IAQ results oriented clients, 7) poor outdoor air quality

  • Air purification equipment manufacturers, NAICS 333411, industry revenue for the year 2011 was reported at $3.0 billion, with an estimated gross profit of 32.57%

  • Industry related organizations- BOMA, NAIOP, IFMA, ASHRAE, AIA, USGBC, PIA, ASID, IAQA, AIHA, others (full listing in Business Plan Appendix).

  • Commercial building types include (per EPA bank/financial institutions, courthouses, data centers, hospitals, hotels/motels, houses of worship, K–12 schools, medical offices, offices, residence halls/dormitories, retail stores, senior care, supermarkets/grocery stores, warehouses (add: jails,prisons; retirement homes; also see */BotanicAir.htm bottom)

  • Seattle, Western, and US area target markets will be surveyed with first funding to determine marketability, customers, and pricing of installations setup and annual service.



  • Ambius (IL, UK),, “a certified specifier, installer, and service provider for multiple green wall manufacturers”

  • Nedlaw (Toronto ON),, Cleaning Air, Naturally ™ “Our Active Living Wall Biofilters remove Volatile Organic Compounds”

  • GSky (Vancouver BC),, “the most versatile interior Green Wall system in the industry”

  • McCaren Designs, (MN),, “blends engineering ingenuity with striking design”, advertising a 80in.x48in. Portable Greenwall, fully assembled and transportable, drip irrigation pump, timer and system, and reservoir/base, “except the imagination and the plants” at $1,695. FOB St.Paul MN.

  • Sage Botanic Media/ Biotile Vertical Garden Systems (IL) “is a vertical gardens company based in Chicago, working internationally”

  • RPI/CASE/SOM (NYC)- Center for Architecture Science and Ecology (CASE), a collaboration between Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM), “has created a new prototype that would work with a building’s existing HVAC system to reduce energy loads and improve indoor air quality”. No indication that results will be measured.

  • UV Photocatalytic oxidation (PCO) is also used for removal of VOCs, and requires less energy to operate than many existing filter systems. American Air Scrubbers ( and Calutech of Houston (, all are mainly residential. BAC intends to incorporate PCO into BAC installations, adopt rather than compete with PCO.

  • Only BAC aims to offer measurable results (using IAQ sensors) not only for IAQ/VOCs, but also CO2 emissions reduction, HVAC energy savings, and occupant/worker health, attendance, and productivity improvement.

Management team

Management Team

  • Mike McCarthy, Founder, interim CEO during Concept, Product Development, Prototype, and field test periods (2012-2015),

  • Advisors’ specialties- HVAC, IAQ, IAQ sensors, interior plantscape industry, phytoremediation, photocatalytic oxidation, market research/validation, commercial real estate, LEED, wall structure design & material, aero/hydroponics, solar/photovoltaic, UV/LED/lighting, horticulture and indoor plants; most already contacted and interviewed or consulted,

    others still being sought. Full listing of Advisors to date is in the following slide.

  • C-level team to be recruited in 2014 as supported by BAC revenue stream; CEO understudy will be recruited as early as feasible 2012-2013

  • Management will be guided by principles presented in The Lean Startup (Eric Ries, author) and Built to Last (Jim Collins, author).

Board advisors

Board, Advisors

  • Board- tbnAdvisors- most already are identified/consulted, no formal agreements yet made

  • HVAC- Richard Ward, P.E., RMW Engineering Seattle; Rodney Dwyer, Mechanical Engineer, Seattle University; Andreas Winardi, Mechanical & Chemical Engineer, Puget Sound Energy; Jon Vlaskamp, Intern, Honors- Cascadia Community College, Environmental Technologies

  • Sensors- Bernt Blomgren, President, Global-Controls Inc., Seattle;

  • Indoor Air Quality- Clinton Holzhauser, EHS-International Inc., Bellevue

  • Phytoremediation- Prof. Emeritus Stanley J. Kays, Univ. Georgia Horticulture; Prof. Stuart Strand, Strand Laboratory, UW Environmental Engineering, Seattle; Prof. Phillip Thompson, Chair- Civil & Environmental Engineering, Seattle University

  • Photocatalytic oxidation- tbn- Univ.Wisconsin, three TX commercial firms

  • Plants- Rachel Sacks, Twyford Nursery, Florida

  • Industry- Joe Haslett, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo CA; Scott Barron, Botanical Designs, Seattle; Alex Fell, National Foliage Foundation, Kraft Gardens- Florida

  • Market Survey- Seattle University, Greg Scully, Project Center- College of Science and Engineering and the Albers School of Business and Economics, others

  • Wall design & material- Mike Slota, Bothell; Dan Terry, DanTerry Inc., Woodinville

  • Lighting/LED/UV, Solar/photovoltaic, battery/storage- tbn

  • Aero/hydroponics- Nathan Ryweck, AquaSerene, Seattle

  • See Management Team

Company overview

FinancialsBotanic Air is seeking a building owner/manager prototype(s) installation investor partner(s), OR $112,500 seed capital, for the design/build/install/operate of the first prototype. Company pre-money Valuation is $750,000., each 1% of shares is $7,500., Cap Table- 100% owned by Founder, no debt.

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