The Surface Of This Luxury High-Rise Helps Clean NYC's Air

One of New York's most extravagant high-rise residential buildings not only impresses visually, but it also removes harmful chemicals from the air. 570 Broome's exterior has a unique technology that removes nitrogen dioxide with sunlight and self cleans its surface.


May 23 2019, Updated 8:02 p.m. ET

A luxury condominium skyscraper in New York is going to be cleaning the big city air. The exterior of 570 Broome is made of material through a collaboration between a stone company and one who specializes in photocatalytic surface treatment. Its sustainable facade will be able to self-clean to the equivalence of removing 2,000 cars annually.

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570 Broome is located in the West Soho neighborhood in New York and is created by architect Tahir Demircioglu from Builtd. The 25-story building is aimed toward higher-class citizens as the 54 living units begin at a $1.35 million price point to purchase. That’s at the one-bedroom level, with two and three-bedroom units going for over $3 million.

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As you’d expect, the condos are beautiful and are made with natural materials. Extravagant interiors from SOM (Skidmore, Ownings & Merrill), featuring walnut-stained oak cabinets and marble countertops, are lit up with natural lighting from the floor-to-ceiling windows. Needing less light isn’t the only way these units are environmentally friendly.

Neolith, who created the stone slab walls surrounding the complex, worked with PURETi to add a self-cleaning surface with titanium dioxide that easily decontaminates the building. It also purifies the air around it by creating water vapor and salt. Two different processes are used to in order to achieve this: photocatalysis and superhydrophilicity. 

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Photocatalysis absorbs sunlight and transforms it into energy, which then takes moisture from the air and combines it with oxidizing ingredients to destroy nitrogen dioxide. This creates the water vapor and salt, and it does this millions of times every second. Superhydrophilicity helps spread rainwater out over the surface to help it completely remove any dirt on the surface.

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Specifically, this technology in 570 Broome’s exterior prevents bacterial growth, eliminates any bad odors that are floating around, and the purified air prevents airborne allergies from spreading. Any building that uses PURETi’s photocatalytic surface gains LEED credits since it eliminates volatile organic compounds.

This isn’t the first time that self-cleaning technology has been used on a building. The Sapphire used ceramic tiles on its facade that also featured titanium dioxide in the coating. Like 570 Broome, the process was activated through sunlight and rainwater would clean any remaining dirt on the surface.

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