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The facade of this hospital in Mexico City is made up of Prosolve370e, a type of tile whose shape and chemical coating can help neutralize smog. According to Fast Company, the wall can suck up the same amount of air pollution that would be produced by 8,750 passing cars each day.

 

So how does it work? In a nutshell, the tiles are coated with titanium dioxide, a pollution-fighting technology that is activated by UV light. When light hits the wall, a reaction is set off that reduces the surrounding air pollutants into harmless amounts of carbon dioxide and water.

 

The tile’s honeycomb-like design maximizes the smog-reducing reaction by slowing wind speeds and creating turbulence, which better distributes the pollutants across the wall’s active surface.

 

A helpful design with a pleasing look. Perhaps something cities like Toronto will want to consider as the summer approaches…

 

Using a new type of tile that converts the chemicals in pollution into less toxic substances, the Torre de Especialidades is fighting the city’s bad air--and looking good in the process.


Plenty of green buildings cut down on pollution with design features that minimize their energy usage. A tower under construction at a Mexico City hospital, on the other hand, actually eats pollution in the air that surrounds it. The Torre de Especialidades is shielded with a facade of Prosolve370e, a new type of tile whose special shape and chemical coating can help neutralize the chemicals that compose smog: and not just a small amount of them, but the equivalent produced by 8,750 cars driving by each day.


The tile is the first product by Berlin-based design firm Elegant Embellishments, whose co-founder Allison Dring explained to me via email, just exactly how a 100-meter-long tile screen can suck up serious amounts of smog.



The process is twofold (and might take you back to a high school chemistry class): the paint applied to the tiles is made from titanium dioxide--a pigment used to make things like sunscreen white that happens to double as a catalyst in certain chemical reactions.


When UV light cuts through smoggy air and hits the titanium dioxide on the tiles, a chemical reaction occurs between the tiles and chemicals in the smog--mono-nitrogen oxides, or NOx. A lot of chemistry goes on in the interim, but for simplicity’s sake, the end result of the reaction is that the smog is broken down into small amounts of less noxious chemicals, including calcium nitrate (a salt used in fertilizers), carbon dioxide, and water. The titanium dioxide itself remains unaffected, so it can keep making reactions happen.



But it’s not just chemistry that makes this work: it’s design. The shapes of the tiles, a “quasicrystalline grid, create omni-directionality, and surface enlargement, which enhances their ability to receive and scatter UV light,” Dring explains. “The shapes slow wind speeds and create turbulence, for better distribution of pollutants across the active surfaces. The omni-directionality of the quasicrystalline geometry is especially suitable to catch things from all directions.”


So, the shape of the tile scatters more light and collects more pollutants, which means more chemical reactions. But they’re also beautiful, a strategic decision by Elegant Embellishments to attach the technology “to an aesthetic, to be visibly apparent to the public,” Dring offers. “The client, and indeed the general public are aware and live every day with the hazards of pollution--it’s a fairly visible problem in [Mexico City.]” The unique look of the Prosolve370e tiles serves as a beacon that something’s being done.


Source: http://www.fastcoexist.com, http://blog.buzzbuzzhome.com/2013/03/building-sucks-up-smog.html

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American Honda Motor Co., Inc. announced yesterday its plan to create the Honda Smart Home US, a showcase for environmental innovation and renewable energy enabling technologies that demonstrates Honda’s vision for sustainable, zero-carbon living and personal mobility.

2013_Honda_Fit_EV-668LR

This vision includes the use of solar power to charge a Honda Fit EV battery electric vehicle.

 

A groundbreaking held April 25 at the construction site on the campus of the University of California, Davis (UC Davis), marked the start of the building process, which will be documented and shared through the Honda Smart Home US website.

 

Envisioning a lifestyle of renewable energy for home and transportation, Honda said the Honda Smart Home US will feature new and emerging technologies to greatly reduce the amount of energy consumed by individual households, and will provide a pathway for the full integration of electric vehicles into the home.

 

The hi-tech sustainable home will demonstrate an approach to meeting the state of California’s goal of requiring all new residential construction to be “zero net energy” by 2020.

 

It is expected to produce more energy than it consumes, using less than half of the energy of a similarly sized new home in the Davis area for heating, cooling, and lighting.

 

Honda said the Smart Home will also give its occupants comprehensive control over all home systems, allowing the residents to remotely and continually monitor and adjust all aspects of energy use in real time.

 

Among the many technologies that will be applied to the Honda Smart Home US are:

  • Solar Power System

A photovoltaic (PV) system will provide the energy for the home and for daily commuting in an all-electric vehicle like the Honda Fit EV. The zero net energy home will generate, on average, more electricity from on-site renewable power sources than it will receive from its electric utility provider.

  • Honda Energy Management System

The Honda Energy Management System introduces a smart-grid technology that will actively manage energy use and communicate with the homeowner and utility provider, allowing the home to maximize its energy efficiency while responding to the needs of the electrical grid, thereby minimizing the impacts of solar generation and electric vehicle charging on the utility grid.

  • High-efficiency HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) and Lighting System designed by UC Davis

UC Davis energy research centers will design high-efficiency, cost effective solutions to major home energy loads. UC Davis researchers will explore new methods for geothermal heating and cooling, and a new circadian color control logic LED lighting system to improve quality of life while reducing energy consumption.

  • Direct solar PV-to-vehicle charging

Direct PV-to-vehicle DC battery charging will substantially improve charging efficiency by reducing losses associated with DC-to-AC and AC-to-DC conversion. “PV-to-EV” charging will decrease CO2 emitted in the lifecycle of an electric vehicle by avoiding the carbon associated with grid electricity production.

  • Certified “Green” Home

The home will be designed to achieve top-level green building certifications from the major U.S. rating systems. With a holistic approach to sustainability, the home will feature passive design elements as well as novel materials to further reduce CO2 emissions from the production of building materials and the construction and operation of the home.

 

The company anticipates construction of the Honda Smart Home, at a site in the UC Davis West Village development, to be completed by the end of 2013.

 

The home will be leased to individuals associated with UC Davis, though further details have not been finalized.

 

In 2012, Honda unveiled the Honda Smart Home System (HSHS) in the city of Saitama, Japan. The HSHS project includes two homes: one is a demonstration-only home while the other serves as a residence for Honda associates.

 

Both feature comprehensive controls of in-house energy supply and demand, and help manage both the generation and consumption of energy for the home.

 

Source: http://www.hybridcars.com/honda-smart-home-us-to-use-solar-power-to-charge-fit-ev/

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