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Breathe better with Origen Air

What is Origen Air

Origen Air produces the most comprehensive air purifier available on the commercial market. Its innovative use of bioengineered plants as an air purification technology removes microscopic airborne toxins 80,000 times smaller than our HEPA-based competition. Origen Air creates healthy buildings for its clients, the planet, and the collective prosperity.

The current industry landscape

Over the past 50 years, architects and building owners have designed buildings to be airtight. This mindset has helped with energy efficiency, but it has the distinct downside of concentrating indoor pollutants- not only those from human lungs, but also the chemicals emanating from chairs, carpets, cleaning agents, and personal care products.

With HVAC maintenance being largely unregulated and most buildings only meeting the minimal air quality standard, people are unaware they breathe polluted indoor air, which can bring short and long-term health effects.

Today, the demand for healthy buildings and better indoor air quality is increasing as society becomes aware of the invisible threats posed by indoor air pollution. Building owners and facilities managers are looking for solutions to protect building occupants’ health in the most efficient and environmentally friendly way.

The birth of the company

An inconvenient truth. A wild idea. A passion for the planet.

Co-founder and resident plant guru at Origen Air, Andrew Crawford was the owner and operator of a successful living wall company. He would design and build expansive living wall installations for local BC businesses who desired more natural elements and greenery in their offices and residences.

After one large project, Andrew dove deeper into the functional capacity of his living wall to clean indoor air. What he found was disappointing. The simple and surprising answer, from NASA themselves was succinct,

“Plants do not remove toxins from our air.”

Disheartened but not defeated, Andrew took a deep dive to find better plants....ones that could save him and humanity from their toxic indoor environments we call homes and offices.

In a serendipitous moment of fate, Andrew happened across a CBC radio interview with Dr. Stuart Strand at the University of Washington. He and the UW scientists had successfully created, developed, and tested a genetically enhanced plant that specifically removed man made toxins from indoor air.

Knowing he desperately needed Dr. Strand’s valuable plant based IP, the pressure was on Andrew to deliver the pitch of a lifetime to the University of Washington. Andrew’s goal was to obtain the global exclusive rights to distribute these enhanced plants to clean his client’s indoor air. Enter Susan Blanchet, a 14 year civil litigator for the Province of BC with a heart of gold and a passion for the protection and preservation of the natural environment. Andrew shared his wild business idea with Susan. Susan’s entrepreneurial spirit soared, her legal mind went into overdrive, and the company was born.

Taking on air pollution was always a lofty goal. The founders quickly learned that they had willingly taken on the challenge of a lifetime. Undaunted after 2.5 years of bootstrapping this disruptive, plant-based clean technology, neither founder would trade this opportunity for anything.

The Origen Air solution

Indoor environments are plagued with harmful levels of Particulate Matter, CO2, Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs), and pathogens. These harmful compounds have strong short and in some cases long-term effects on human health. Furthermore, the use of ventilation systems for heating and cooling is not sustainable as this introduces a problem of increased CO2 levels in the atmosphere which has a direct effect on GHG emissions.

Origen Air has created the most comprehensive, plant-based air purifier available on the commercial market. Its innovative use of genetically enhanced plants as an air purification technology removes microscopic airborne toxins 80,000 times smaller than Origen Air's HEPA-based competition and removes over 80% more volatile organic compounds than regular plants. Origen Air combines this technology with traditional HEPA filters and Indoor Air Quality sensors to deliver a complete indoor air quality solution for commercial buildings.

Origen Air's genetically enhanced plant, the golden pothos ivy, expresses the 2e1 gene that allows it to dramatically outperform the average plant in its air-purifying abilities. The expressed enzyme allows Origen’s enhanced plants to detoxify indoor air the same way that a human liver protects the body from exposure to air pollution and ingested toxins. The enhanced plants are capable of breaking down and metabolizing harmful toxins known as volatile organic compounds. The plants work hard to remove these toxins all while naturally producing fresh, clean oxygen as their by-product.

There are many associated benefits to improving your indoor air quality with Origen Air’s clean-air-as-a-service, including improving the cognitive performance of the people within your space, reducing absenteeism, re-establishing confidence in facility operations by turning health and safety practices into highly visible public relations opportunities. Measured and managed improvements to corporate indoor environmental conditions improve company ESG scores. In recent years, ESG’s have become a catalyzing factor in the future economic prosperity of publicly traded companies. Higher rated ESG companies have consistently outperformed their competitors over the past 3 years.

Customer experience

One of Origen Air's smart, living air purifiers is installed in the Alacrity Canada building in Victoria, BC.

Alacrity is providing its staff and customers the single best amenity they can offer: Safe, clean air.

The building office is located in the Victoria Downtown area, where, through the day, many customers and visitors walk in looking to grow their business and develop their professional network.

“The Alacrity Canada office is grateful to have one of Origen Air’s living air purifiers, the Sentinel, installed in our space. This air purifier adds some much-needed warmth and greenery to our office. Coupled with the fact that the Origen Air team handles all the maintenance, we get to enjoy the Sentinel completely worry-free! We love the design, as well as the real-time air quality tracker. A beautiful machine that would compliment any office space!”

- Chrystal Boyd (She/her), Office Manager - Alacrity

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