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Curtains That Reduce CO2

Curtains that reduce CO2 are now a thing, thanks to Claudia Pasquero and Marco Poletto at London firm ecoLogicStudio.

A solar powered community, windfarms, a 3D printed house, and solar panels the shape of Mickey Mouse. Think you’ve heard it all?

Think again, enter algae filled curtains. I’m sure that sounds not at all like your latest Macy’s ad.

However, it is not meant to. “Buildings, are meant to be alive, to breathe, and to act like trees, cleaning the air.” Said, Pasquero and Poletto.

With this in mind, they designed the first ever Urban Curtain, that sucks in polluted air and releases clean air.

To test their design, they covered the first and second floor of a building in Dublin Castle in early November with large bio-plastic sheets, each more than 20 feet long, that contain built-in channels filled with algae. Dirty air enters the bottom and bubbles up to the algae, capturing CO2 and pollutants. Afterwards, fresh oxygen is released at the top.

So, did it work?

In the Dublin installation, the design captured around one kilogram of CO2 from the air each day. That is, roughly as much as 20 large trees.

The concept is to envision a future where buildings can be alive. Therefore, be able to produce energy and metabolize pollutants as well as become bio-sensors in the city.

“Why should we limit our understanding of urban greens to trees and plants?” asks Pasquero.

It is one step toward a brighter future, where the problems caused by human design, consumption, and just too much growth, can be remedied by human innovation. The end goal, suggest many like Pasquero, and Italian architect Cesare Griffa, who designed a lightweight “bio-digital canopy” for an exhibit in Milan, is to reach a point where we are at net zero – and no longer harming the world around us.


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