From billboards that purify air at the rate of 1200 trees, innovators with a green conscience have turned to design a building that will clean the air at the rate of 500 trees. This 25-storey luxury condo 570 Broome in the West Soho neighborhood of NYC, designed by Tahir Demircioglu, has a self-cleaning exterior that works with sunlight to turn contaminants into salt and mist.
570 Broome’s facade is also NSF certified and receives LEED points
The innovative material on the exterior of the building is designed in a collaboration between Neolith and PURETi. Neolith manufactures sintered stone surfaces, which are sprayed with a special treatment by PURETi.
Sintering is a recent ceramic technique of using extreme heat and pressure, replicating a natural process, to create surfaces. Neolith’s Skyline line of facades has introduced a Sintered Stone PURETi collaboration to respond to the global drive to reduce urban air pollution.
Building facades become dirty and contaminated over time. Contaminating agents including accumulated dust and pollutants from cars and/or industries nearby slowly corrode the surfaces of buildings. Researchers have been looking for self-cleaning materials for building facades and discovered titanium dioxide’s property of photocatalysis.
The PURETi surface treatment on Neolith’s plates is an aqueous and titanium dioxide nanoparticle-based substance sprayed on. When sunlight or light from some LED lights falls on the surface, the titanium dioxide particles are activated. These particles use light energy to change the moisture in air to oxidizing agents that destroy contaminants like nitrogen dioxide, grease, dirt, and other organic pollutants. The pollutants are converted into salts and water vapor. This process, known as photocatalysis, changes harmful substances on building facades to neutral material.
The opportunity of Neolith and Pureti
Another property of Titanium Dioxide, called superhydrophilicity, makes it attract water. When it rains, the water expands evenly across the facade and drags remaining dirt down for self-cleaning.
The process of photocatalysis is repeated millions of times per second. The technology helps not just to protect the building exterior from deterioration, but also helps to improve air quality inside and around the building. The result is an anti-allergen, anti-odor and anti-bacterial surface. The facade is also NSF certified and receives LEED points.
However, this is not the first self-cleaning building project. Liuzhou Forest City, for instance, is able to improve the air quality by absorbing almost 10,000 tons of carbon dioxide and 57 tons of pollutants yearly. Roughly 900 tons of produced oxygen contribute providing healthy air for the inhabitants of this innovative city. And there are a lot more impressing and inspiring green building projects with similar features.