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Concept Skyscraper That Cleans Chicago Air Pollution, Creates Biofuel

C02ngress Building concept

A team of architects has come up with an innovative way to tackle the thick layer of carbon pollution produced by vehicles in Chicago’s Congress Parkway Interchange.

Every day, 77,000 vehicles pass through the interchange, a major vehicle route running through downtown Chicago. In an attempt to clear the air a bit, architects Danny Mui and Benjamin Sahagun have come up with the CO2ngress Gateway Towers; a pair of buildings fitted with a filtration system that feeds captured CO2 to algae inside the building, which then converts it to biofuels that can be used by vehicles.

C02ngress Building - road underneath

According to Sahagun and Mui’s description on the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) website, “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 public awareness of air pollution and its impact on the health of Chicagoans.”

The buildings also consist of two layers of windows that cut down on outside traffic noise, and there are spaces outside the central elevator system that can be used as outdoor terraces for residents.

Unfortunately, there are no serious plans to build the structures just yet. The pair worked on the project for a studio class and continued to work on it after the class was over, even receiving an honorable mention in the 2012 CTBUH student competition.

Wouldn’t it be cool to live or work in a building that not only cleans up the air, but also produces cleaner fuel for vehicles?

Images: Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat; Illinois Institute of Technology

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