A Mexico City hospital is in the process of building a tower, Torre de Especialidadesis, that is shielded with a special kind of tile that will neutralize the equivalent of almost 8,800 cars’ worth of smog each day. The Prosolve370e shield tiles break down smog with a chemical reaction involving the sun’s ultraviolet rays and materials, including titanium dioxide, painted on them. What remains are smaller amounts of less toxic chemicals, including calcium nitrate and water. The titanium dioxide itself is unaffected, and keeps the shield bright white while continuing the process of smog conversion.
What’s the Big Idea?
According to Allison Dring, co-founder of Elegant Embellishments, the German design firm that developed the Prosolve370e tile, its shapes help create a “quasicrystalline grid” that can receive more amounts of UV light, “slow wind speeds and create turbulence, for better distribution of pollutants across the active surfaces.” The 100-meter-long shield was also designed to be seen as attractive and tangible evidence that Mexico City, a metropolis with one of the worst air quality levels in the world, is paying attention to the problem of smog.