What are “Smog-Eating” Buildings? | The B1M

What are “Smog-Eating” Buildings? | The B1M

Air pollution is now the world’s biggest
environmental cause of death, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). Data released in 2016, showed that 6.5 million
people died in 2012 as a result of polluted air, primarily in and around major cities. Whilst many nations are working hard to restrict
emissions – often in line with international agreements – some of the worst affected
cities are now looking to technological solutions in building and infrastructure design. Manuel Gea González Hospital in Mexico City
is one such example. The building’s owners have taken the step of adding a new “smog-eating”
façade covering over 2,500 square meters. The system, designed and developed by Elegant
Embellishments, consists of thermoformed shells coated in photocatalytic titanium dioxide.
This coating reacts with light to neutralise elements of air pollution, negating the effects
of up to 1,000 cars a day according to its developers. Another example is the impressive Palazzo
Italia – or Italy Pavilion – which was the centrepiece of the 2015 Milan Expo. The
building’s six-storey external façade was clad in over 700 “i.active BIODYNAMIC panels”. Photocatalytic titanium dioxide in the cement
again reacts with light to neutralise certain pollutants in the air converting them to inert
salts, steadily purifying the atmosphere. The material adds around 4-5% to construction
costs and other examples of its use are popping up across the built environment; including
a photocatalytic roadway in The Netherlands and a smog-eating poem on the side of this
building in the UK. The banner material that the poem is printed on contains the photocatalytic
substance and counteracts the impact of 20 cars a day. The banner relates closely to “catalytic
clothing” – a new concept under development by designer Helen Storey and polymer chemist
Tony Ryan that adds titanium dioxide nano-particles to laundry detergent. The key to such smog-eating solutions making
a meaningful impact is their widespread adoption. They need to be applied in sufficient scale
to match the current levels of air pollution generated around the world. If you enjoyed this video and would like to
get more from the definitive video channel for construction, subscribe to The B1M.

30 thoughts on “What are “Smog-Eating” Buildings? | The B1M

  1. A better solution to air pollution is not to produce it in the first place. Pollution you don't produce is pollution you don't have to mitigate.

  2. How safe is Titanium Dioxide? Id hate to find out after we coated all our buildings, clothes and roads w/ this stuff only to find out its like Asbestos! If its totally safe then rock on great product. Lets paint!

  3. Just plant trees, it's cheaper and they are good for public spaces.

    There's a reason why the Victorians planted millions of the London plane tree in cities, because it eases the air pollution.

  4. I just wanted to say I really love this YouTube channel. You guys do amazing work that I truly appreciate as a fan of architecture.

  5. another creative solution is glowing trees instead of lampposts, this is only under development at the moment, i love people who adapt to the circumstances rather than making compromises

  6. and why don't they just add one of these to each car so the pollution produced by every car is "eaten" by the itself?

  7. Italcementi first invented this process in 2002. It is a great way to reduce local pollution, plus the surfaces are self cleaning so they stay bright forever. Unfortunately the air cleaning capabilities very slowly diminish over time. It shocks me how little people talk about or know of the concept. Widespread adoption of it could do wonders for cities around the world.

  8. SO SHARED…..


    What are "Smog-Eating" Buildings? | The B1M

    ..''''.Consist's of thermal formed shells coated in photo catalytic titanium di oxide ''''……WELL………..THAT is ALL I needed to hear…..hell yeah…..MAIN THING…….IT WORKS……even if you do not know what that means..! !!!!!…..SO COOL…….DID YOU KNOW..??.


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