Elegant Air Purification in Construction

  • Sustainability Problem
    • The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 7 million premature deaths are linked to air pollution.
    • Over 50% of the world’s population lives in cities, where there are increased levels of air pollution from car exhaust, manufacturing, energy production, and building heat generation, among others.
    • Cities must reduce or neutralize pollutants to reduce health care costs caused by air pollution.
  • Summary of “Fighting a Megacity’s Pollution with Mega Panels” by Shonquis Moreno:
    • As part of a two-decades-long effort to clean up Mexico City, 2,500 square meters of Prosolve 370e “smog eating” tiles were installed on the Dr. Manuel Gea Gonzalez Hospital.
    • The elegant lightweight tiles are coated with a photocatalytic air-scrubbing titanium dioxide (Ti02), which is activated by sunlight. This installation will neutralize the exhaust produced by up to 1,000 cars per day.
    • The panels are easy to install on existing buildings, allowing commercial and community buildings to use their large vertical surfaces to minimize air pollution.
  • Stakeholders:
    • Urban Planners & Architects
    • Commercial and community buildings
    • Building contractors
  • Deployment:
    • Installation on existing commercial buildings
    • Integrated into new development
  • Resources: 

5 thoughts on “Elegant Air Purification in Construction

  1. This is a really cool idea! It makes me wonder if this approach would be better than going with a more natural infrastructure, for example, using trees/more plants to neutralize the pollution’s effects. I wonder if they did studies to figure that out and see the costs and benefits of each. Could be interesting to look into 🙂


    • I agree! I think this idea is really cool! It is somewhat related to the artificial trees that I posted that I wonder if these two technologies can be designed such that this elegant infrastructure is shaped like a globe or an egg surrounding the artificial trees. Together they could reduce air pollutants and capture carbon dioxide. Plus artificial trees with this elegant infrastructure would look more pleasing!


  2. Bullet point:

    – The tiles’ irregular and biomimetic pattern are based natural organisms like sponges and corals


  3. The TiO2 coating lasts at about the same time as regular exterior paint. When the TiO2 starts to wear off the structure can be re-coated in situ.


  4. This is a really interesting idea and could be applied to most cities that haver this problem. Like Mexico City, Los Angeles had a problem with smog in the 1970’s because they also have a natural pollution trap. The surrounding mountains combine with temperature inversions to trap dirty air. Los Angeles’ solution was to introduced catalytic converters to automobiles which greatly reduced the smog problem but still has room for improvement. Perhaps Elegant Air could be a complementary addition.


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