Another Groundbreaking Billboard from FCB Mayo Peru and UTEC

FCB Mayo Peru and the University of Engineering & Technology (UTEC) have again partnered to draw the attention of incoming students. Together, they have created an “Air Orchard,” which demonstrates that pollution-free food can be grown and behavior can be changed through innovative engineering.

FCB Mayo and UTEC first partnered in 2013 to boost recruitment for UTEC. This partnership led to an award-winning, innovative billboard that filtered humidity from the air into potable drinking water. In 2014, this winning team reunited to reduce the effects of air pollution by creating a billboard that filtered the impurities out of the air, cleaning about 100,000 cubic meters of air a day.

The idea for the “Air Orchard” was born out of the fact that in the Bujama region of Peru, irrigation comes from local rivers. These rivers, however, can be contaminated with arsenic, lead or cadmium that can seep into nearby farmland and crops. The “Air Orchard” uses the NFT (Nutrient Film Technique) system of hydroponics. The billboard has 10 large dehumidifiers that carry water through a series of PVC tubes coated in nutrients. The white PVC tubes reflect the sun’s rays and boost photosynthesis. Compared to soil-based farming, hydroponics garners five times more nutrients and sunlight while optimizing production of quality and space. More than 2,800 heads of lettuce are given away weekly to passersby and the local community from the “Air Orchard” billboard site on the Panamericana Sur, Peru’s largest and most important highway. In addition to the lettuce that it produced, the billboard filters about 96 liters of drinking water per day. 

“UTEC was founded with the mission of developing applied research that provides practical solutions to the challenges of society and industry,” said Ignacio Montero, Director of Business Innovation at UTEC. “These principles are proven through innovative initiatives like the ‘Air Orchard.’ We improved on our first panel that generated water from moisture in the air for human consumption and increased the production of water to grow healthy food. We have found a practical solution to a real problem, and through creativity and innovation we developed solutions to the challenges of our country and the world,” he continued.

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