Indigo Tower: Bio-Purification Tower
With a focused look at sustainability, the Hong Kong-based architecture firm IO has been developing a series of research projects aimed at improving the quality of the built environment. One project, the Indigo Tower, takes an active stance and addresses the problem of urban pollution by helping purify the air of our cities through a combination of passive solar techniques and advanced nanotechnology.
Glowing indigo object
The focused and increased wind speeds maximize the amount of air pushed across the titanium dioxide panels, provide cross ventilation for every unit in the towers, and power a series of vertical wind turbines. Positive pressure is created on the southern face of the towers and the resulting negative pressure on the northern façades creates optimal conditions for cross-ventilation. Careful attention has also been placed to prevent the backflow air from one unit into another. The nano coating has the added benefit of neutralizing bacteriological contamination.
Public gathering places
A series of gardens are located at regular intervals all the way up the tower. They become public gathering spaces as well as marsh lands to collect the water from the chemical reactions of the skin and to filter and process gray water from the towers. The plants also turn the carbon dioxide, created in the chemical reaction of the skin, back into oxygen.
It is paramount to have the plants help maintain the base-level carbon neutrality. A large pool around the base of the tower is the final collection point of the filtered water, which goes to support a large amount of animal and plant life. Water is also pumped back up the towers from the pool to service toilets. Furthermore, the pool at the base acts as a heat sink for the release of the heat generated from a back-up air-conditioning system. Here, the heat is released slowly, thus helps reduce the heat island effect.
The research projects are used as a means to advance sustainable designs within the firm and the results are often incorporated directly into current projects. Beyond the obvious environmental benefits, IO has realized the commercial value of advanced green technology. The sustainable technologies are catching on especially well in large-scale residential projects because they bring a better value to the individual units and gain tax credit from local governments.
The Indigo Tower was recently featured in the Boston Globe, New York Times, and Issue 2 of Evolo Magazine.
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