Innovative Building Cleans the Atmosphere

570 Broome, a 25-story luxury condo tower in Manhattan’s Hudson Square, slated to be completed at the end of 2018, boasts a subtle yet substantial environmentally conscious feature—it actually cleans the air! The location is perfect too as it’s next to New York’s traffic-ridden Holland Tunnel, making its presence even more welcome in the area.

How does this beautiful tower clean the air?

The building is clad in 2,000 square meters of Neolith paneling—a material comprised of raw minerals that have undergone high heat and pressure to mimic the appearance of natural stone—that is coated with a titanium dioxide nanoparticle-based treatment called Pureti.

“The Pureti-treated panels are self-cleaning and actively altering the chemical makeup of the surrounding air,” explains Travis Conrad, an architectural consultant for Neolith.

“First, it is hydroscopic, meaning it allows water to not leave streaks—it sheets the water and dirt away from the building…and it’s photocatalytic…it reacts with the sunlight and moisture in the air and breaks down volatile compounds in the air much like how a tree breaks down greenhouse gases,” he says.

Thanks to Pureti’s decontamination and self-cleaning properties, the process is a trickle-down effect. When UVA beams hit the panels, oxygen and water vapor in the atmosphere are converted into super oxide and hydroxyl; super oxide then converts harmful nitrous oxide in the atmosphere into benign nitrates while hydroxyl converts volatile organic compounds and soil into minerals, gas, and water. In short, what begins in the atmosphere as soil, chemicals, and nitrous oxide becomes little more than minerals and H2O.

The genius who designed the project is Architect Tahir Demircioglu, also the principal of the firm Builtd. Demircioglu explains that they picked Neolith panels initially for their lightness and aesthetic reasons, and finding out that it cleans itself is a bonus. “It came with an element that limits the amount of chemicals needed to clean and maintain itself so instead of using chemicals and power-washing the building, Neolith panels are hydrophilic [which] cleans itself,” Demircioglu adds.

Architect Digest reports that though the chemicals that make up Pureti were discovered some 40 years ago, it wasn’t until it was combined with Neolith that it was utilized on the scale seen on major residential towers like 570 Broome. “The material is a win-win situation for everybody,” Demircioglu tells Architect Digest. “It has an environmental impact, it helps the owners and developers lower the maintenance costs, and it gives a peace of mind to the tenants.”

“It’s about getting it down in nanoparticles and size,” Conrad explains. “The intent is to get as much of the mineral as flat on the surface as possible because [Pureti] has to interact with the moisture in the air and the sunlight.” Thus, spraying the solution on a large, thin sheet of Neolith—where all particles can live at the surface—is ideal.

Source: Architectural Digest

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