Air pollution in cities is a problem that affects us all, claiming millions of victims a year. What if we could "wash" the air we breathe just like we wash our clothes? Symbiosis study introduced VERTO, a small urban tower (about 6 meters high) that purifies the air.
How much air? A lot. Millions of cubic meters every day. An innovative solution that could transform the quality of breathing in our cities and our experience of outdoor living.
VERTO: the architectural response to urban pollution
The design of VERTO is quite functional. The turret uses the computational fluid dynamics to optimize its range of intervention and maximize the air it purifies. As if that weren't enough, the aesthetics are also very pleasant: the resulting elegant construction integrates perfectly with any architectural context.
Designers say the purifier can clean 600.000 cubic meters of air per day, significantly reducing levels of nitrogen dioxide and fine particulate matter in the air. Of course, as with any device that purifies the air, the effect diminishes the further you get from the jet.
A "place" that purifies the outdoors in an (almost) 100% sustainable way
The name VERTO comes from the Greek and Latin words for "to turn." And in fact its is a 360 degree design that creates a difference in temperatures and pressures between the incoming and outgoing air, resulting in an air flow around the tower that draws the hot air towards itself and purifies it. Just like a good home air purifier, the system features a variable fan that adjusts speed and energy use based on air pollution levels.
The VERTO filter that purifies fine particulate matter is partially recyclable and requires replacement every six to nine months. And (much like IKEA furniture) the fiberglass-reinforced concrete panels that make up its structure are designed to be shipped flat, ready to be assembled on site.
VERTO has already been operational for over a year in Sunder Nursery Park in New Delhi, to improve the air quality of residents.
The global way to clean air
Symbiosis study shows, with this solution, that it is making giant strides in outdoor air purification, but it is not the only one. China has built the world's largest air purifier to help reduce smog levels, and designers like Daan Roosegaarde they designed similar towers.
All laudable solutions, mind you, but it is essential that countries invest in reducing sources of pollution. Without strong and widespread public intervention, VERTO "and his brothers" remain more or less robust palliatives, but only palliatives.