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In Chicago, a pollution-clearing skyscraper

Posting in Architecture

Two architects in Chicago have designed a building so sustainable that it actually cleans the air around it.

Designed by architectural students Danny Mui and Benjamin Sahagun, the lopsided CO2ngress Gateway Towers would sit above the Eisenhower Expressway, a busy city highway that sees as many as 77,000 cars a day. The designers aim to cut down on carbon dioxide emissions from these passing vehicles by employing a filtration system on the skyscraper that would scrub the surrounding air clean.

The process would involve absorbing nearby carbon dioxide, which would then be fed to algae grown on the towers’ tops. This algae would subsequently be processed into bio-fuel and made available for the building residents’ own “eco-friendly” cars.

The architects explain:

Carbon scrubbers, which capture carbon dioxide and other pollutants from the air, crown the CO2ngress Gateway Towers. The scrubbers are the first step in a process that generates fuel for a fleet of eco-friendly cars for building residents. The system raises awareness of air pollution and its impact on the health of Chicagoans.

The skyscrapers would also feature a double-skin exterior that would help reduce traffic noise for residents.

The buildings were designed while Mui and Sahagun were students at the Illinois Institute of Technology.

[via Fast Co.Exist]

Images: Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat

— By on October 7, 2012, 5:12 AM PST

Sarah Korones

Contributing Editor

Contributing Editor Sarah Korones is a freelance writer based in New York. She has written for Psychology Today and Boston's Weekly Dig. She holds a degree from Tufts University. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure