Sunday, March 16, 2014

Aero-Domes for Clean Air in China

Beijing's air pollution woes might be bad for residents' health, but for outdoor air-supported structure maker MetaSpace (Beijing) Technology smog has been good for business. The company was in a slump before 2006 amid low demand for their products, which filter out harmful air pollutants. But severe bouts of air pollution in Beijing and elsewhere in China over the past year have unlocked unprecedented market opportunities.

Organizing Life Around PM2.5 Went Mainstream

MetaSpace's sales and marketing director, Zhong Fan, said the company has handled more orders and enquiries over the past months than ever before. Year-on-year sales increased 100 percent in 2013.

Like disposable masks, air purifiers and even drones, air-supported structures are part of a line of "clean-air" products designed to mitigate the harmful effects of smog. They have also become a visible way for schools and other organizations to flex their environmental credentials as safe havens from the haze.

Read the full article @ Global Times

The main value of public structures is the benefit they provide all citizens rather than an exclusive group, according to German architect Christoph Klemmt. The director of Orproject Architects, Klemmt is the brains behind a radical idea to enclose all of Beijing in an anti-smog "bubble."

Klemmt, 36, has been living in China for three years and plans to stay longer. His idea for a citywide dome was partly inspired by a college classmate from India, another developing country battling air pollution.

Transparency and Incentives Are First Steps in Combating Air Pollution

Covering a city of more than 20 million people and over 5 million cars in a dome might be farfetched, but enclosing a large public area could prove a more practical alternative. "If we can cover a park [with the bubble], we can control its environment inside," Klemmt said.

"Buildings surrounding the park, which are connected to the controlled air system, can house apartments, offices and retail stores, but may also offer sports or medical facilities that make specific use of the healthy air," he added.

Klemmt said the purpose of a bubbled park would be to address Beijing's shortage of plants and trees needed to offset carbon emissions. "[The bubbled park] would be a greenhouse, a botanical garden in which you can have tropical plants inside," he said.

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