The world is on the brink of the era of the Anthropocene. Human action has impacted the environment to a critical degree and we are currently perched on the inflexion point. A global recognition for the need for immediate action is beginning to take shape and it looks like China will be at the vanguard of the green-architecture movement.
The world's most populous country is suffocating on account of poor air quality - and are planning to finish construction of a 3280 foot tall skyscraper in Central China that is designed to purify the surrounding air. This could be a technological revolution that changes the role of construction companies to have a triple bottom line of financial, social and environmental impact.
The way I see it, if more government policies support green technology, either through mandatory regulation or through positive incentives (think tax-breaks and subsidies), it may not be too late to slide back from the tipping point into a sustainable future for our planet.
It looks like China is taking on Saudi Arabia for the “world’s tallest building” crown. When construction on the Phoenix Tower, a pointy two-building complex in Wuhan, is finished, one of the mega skyscrapers will match the Saudis’ Kingdom Tower in height. But the 3,280-foot-tall building will do more than just pierce the atmosphere. It will eat pollution floating in the air. Designed by U.K.-based architecture firm Chetwoods, the towers will be covered with a smog-eating coating. The building materials and veneers are photocatalytic: That means they are able to use sunlight to turn particulate matter into inert salts.