Can Green Building Reduce Air Pollution?

March 18, 2014 11:37 am

One of the major aims of green building is to reduce pollution, waste, and general environmental degradation. But can building green help and improve the environment as a whole, rather than just reducing the impact that that specific building has? Some ambitious green projects in cities like Paris and Beijing have set out to prove that it can.

Reducing Air Pollution in Paris

Anti-smog green building

Vincent Callebaut’s Anti-Smog project in Paris was announced as an opportunity to ‘apply all the avant-garde renewable energies so as to fight against the Parisian smog’. Described as ‘depolluting architecture’, this beautiful set of buildings produce more energy than they consume while the titanium dioxide covering reacts to ultraviolet rays to reduce the air pollution.

Fighting Smog in Mexico City

Green building that reduces air pollution

The Manuel Gea Gonzalez Hospital in Mexico City doesn’t just help patients – it actually works to improve the health for all city dwellers. The beautifully designed building actually has a double skin that was designed to reduce pollution and purify air. As well as working as an air filter, the prosolve370e (designed by Elegant Embellishments) skin naturally filters the light and works as a solar gain blocker for the interior so that the hospital can save money on air conditioning and lighting. Like the Parisian project, this building relies on titanium dioxide for the filtration effect. The honeycomb design means that more of the surface area is exposed to the sun, so increases the impact it has on air quality.

Washing Pollution Away

Using titanium dioxide yet again, a creation called Reynobond with Ecoclean by Japanese manufacturer Toto uses rain water to literally wash pollution away. The panels are covered in coils that help rainwater run off more smoothly, so once the pollutants are ‘caught’ on the surface the water simply washes them off.


As technology continues to develop, we’ll see more and more ways that green building practices will cut down the impact of construction and actually improve the outside environment. From intelligent designs, efficient energy production, and how air filtration systems, green building technology is definitely gaining pace and proving that it can help the environment.

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