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  • VERTICAL ECOSYSTEM: Demonstration of a vertical hydroponic garden prototype with a greywater recycling station

VERTICAL ECOSYSTEM: Demonstration of a vertical hydroponic garden prototype with a greywater recycling station


Grey water recycling station

Vertical hydroponic garden

Implementation of Nature-Based Solutions

The city of Malaga is making great efforts to provide its inhabitants with sufficient green areas and reach the 15 m2 per inhabitant recommended by the European Union. However, the expansion of these green areas is seriously limited by various aspects such as the availability of land and the increasingly important “water crisis”. Andalusia is one of the most affected and vulnerable regions worldwide due to this problem, with an extreme risk of water stress. Currently, this situation is already causing problems when it comes to supplying existing green areas, as well as the development of new areas.

Nature-Based Solutions (NBS) have been identified by the EU as one of the essential and transformative tools to build more sustainable and resilient societies. That is why Europe is positioning itself as a world benchmark in innovation and implementation in this field. And it is doing so not only at a political and regulatory level, but also by financing innovative projects that contribute to this transformation.

In this context, the Vertical Ecosystem international cooperation project was developed, an initiative financed by the European Commission within the framework of the Metabuilding project whose objective is to promote innovation in the construction sector. 

From BIOAZUL, together with Biotonomy AB, we have designed and built an innovative prototype consisting of a greywater recycling station and a vertical hydroponic garden, characterised for lower water consumption than conventional vertical gardens.

This innovative technology included elements for automated and telematic management through phyto-irrigation with nutrient control, minimizing human intervention in its maintenance.

This prototype has been installed and tested in a real and operational environment, counting with the support and commitment of the 4-star Hotel Mariposa located in the Soho district of Malaga (Spain), offering its facilities for this purpose.


  • Demonstration and validation of an innovative solution to integrate nature-based solutions in dense urban environments and buildings applying a circular economy approach (treating and reusing greywater generated on-site).
  • Design and implementation of a prototype consisting in two modules: a greywater recycling station (treatment capacity of 400 litres/day) to irrigate a 100 m2 vertical hydroponic garden with 2,500 plants of 18 species, tested in a real and operational environment, the façade of a 4-star hotel located in Malaga.
  • Additional value though environmental, economic and social benefits to the pilot building and the neighbourhood (i.e., zero freshwater consumption, oxygen production and CO2 absorption, filtration of dust and harmful gasses, temperature regulation, noise reduction, increase of biodiversity, and aesthetic value).


Bioazul (Spain)

Biotonomy (Sweeden)

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Status: Finished

Contract nº: 440

Duration: March 1, 2022 – August 31, 2022 (6 months)

Budget: 60.000€

Contact person: Gerardo González (ggonzalez@bioazul.com)

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