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ABSORBER


superABSORBER

The geometry of the superABSORBER is based on that of the sponge, where the maximum surface area is Sponge Structure produced with a mimumum of matter.

Sponge Structure

is a new kind of highway wall barrier system which in addition to mitigating light and noise pollution also absorbs airborne pollution. Organic and inorganic pollutants present in our cities’ air are broken down through a chemical reaction that occurs on the photocatalytic cement surface absorbing much of the 1.4 billion tons of airborne pollution generated by the United States’ interstates highways each year. The sponge like surface of the system creates a “destructive interference pattern” which dissolves sound and light while increasing the surface area for maximum pollution absorption. As an ever changing material, the superABSORBER is enlivened by the passing of the automobile while mitigating the negative by-products of the roadway. This innovative system has the potential to significantly reduce airborne pollution in urban areas with the inclusion of a photocatalytic cement that has been demonstrated to reduce air pollution in urban areas by 50% when covering just 15% of urban surfaces. The inclusion of this surface application on future concrete barrier systems represents a significant amount of surface area for absorption of air pollution in urban areas as we go into the future. In the United States we have 46,837 miles of highways with miles of sound barrier walls being erected daily to mitigate the negative impacts of highway systems on urban neighborhoods. At the same time these urban systems alone produce 1.4 billion tons of airborne pollution annually. In addition the public is demanding a more appealing design solution with the increasing prominence of this additional component to our highway infrastructure. The superABSORBER takes these conditions and rethinks them to mitigate a pressing problem while providing a more attractive solution to the existing array of barrier options as a unifying design element which accentuates the topography of our landscape and is a visually dynamic membrane for the interplay of light and vision across its surface.

Running Fence by Christo and Jeanne-Claude

ABSORBER

Like Christo andFence Jean-Claude’s Fence the superAbsorber is conceived of as land art inscribing the Running byRunning Christo and Jeanne-Claude topography of the american landscape along our interstate highway edges.

Miles of sound barrier walls are erected daily. The design strategy shifts from the current barrier systems by rethinking the basic 2d panel and increasing its porosity in order to increase the surface area of a panel. In doing so the panels are designed to selectively trap sound while allowing light to play across and through the surfaces.


In the United States we have 46,837 miles of interstate highways, and miles of sound barrier walls are erected daily. The SUPERABSORBER takes these conditions and rethinks them to mitigate the 4 billion tons of airborne pollution produced anually while providing a more appealing solution to the existing array of barrier options. The SUPERABSORBER is also a line which delicately travels along highway edges, delineating and amplifying the topography of our landscape with filtered light and flicker.


Animated simulation study of particles in the form of pollution light and sound produced by the roadway


highway

residences

airborne pollution

sound pollution

highway

highway

light pollution

residences

residences

ABSORBER

Byproducts in the form (airborne, and sound) are absorbed into the spongelike surface mitigating the negaBy products in the formofof pollution pollution (airborne, light, light and sound) are tive urban effects ofsponge the road in juxtaposition the human absorbed in to the like surface mitigating thetonegative urban scale effects of the road in juxtaposition to the human scale.


Views of superABSORBER in a variety of settings, the underlying geometry of the parametric models allow the wall to vary depending on site specific conditions.


Highway

superABSORBER

Residences

Like a sponge, the superABSORBER digests airborne pollution. It is decomposed through a chemical reaction on the photocatalytic cement on the heavily articulated surface. Residences superABSORBER

Highway Like a sponge, the superABSORBER digests airborne pollution. It is decomposed through a Sound and light pollution are reflected and diluted within the sponge-like surface. Like a sponge, the superABSORBER digests airborne pollution. Pollutants are decomposed through a chemical reaction on the photocatalytic cement on the chemical reaction on the photocatalytic cement on the heavily articulated surface. heavily articulated surface. Sound cancels out through the “destructive interference pattern” created by reflecting the

sounds on angled openings. Sound andSound lightandpollution arearereflected andworksheet dilutedworksheet withindilluted the sponge-like surface. light pollution reflected and within the sponge-like surface.

Light is diluted through reflection within the configured cavities of the wall yet a subtle

amount of light isinterference channeled pattern” to the other sidebyofreflecting the superABSORBER to animate the Sound waves are canceled through a “destructive created the sound on the angled openings.

Sound cancels out through the “destructive interference pattern” created by reflecting the material on the side of the residents. Light is dilluted through reflection within the cavities of the wall yet a subtle amount of light is channeled to the other side of the superABSORBER to sounds on animate angledtheopenings. material on the side of the residents.

Light is diluted through reflection within the configured cavities of the wall yet a subtle

Airborne Pollution Sound Pollution

Airborne Pollution Light Pollution Sound Pollution

ABSORB Light Pollution


Maya screen shot of parametrically controlled conical pores, the inital geometric concept below has evolved into parametrically controlled geometries.

PANEL DESIGN

Simple Surface

simple 2d surface

the superabsorber is conceived to increase the amount of surface area in a 2d surface in order to increase exponentially the amount of pollution absorption

Pore Pattern

pore pattern

pores are added to the surface to reduce its Pores weight are and added generate to patterns that the surface to reduce adress the scale/movement of the car and generandits theweight human body

ate optimal patterns that address the scale/movement of the car and human.

Offset/Scale/Shift

offset/scale/shift

within the thickness of the wall the patWithin the thickness tern is offset, scaled and shifted to of the wall thearea pattern maximize surface for absorption is air offset, scaled, of pollution, sound and pollution and light shifted to maximize pollution

surface area for absorption of air, sound, and light pollution.

Super Absorber

superABSORBER

The conical sections produce a spongeThe concical like membrane thatsections selectively absorbs produce a sponge-like and diffuses light, sound and pollution as membrane selecthey pass throughthat the panel

tively absorbs and diffuses light, sound and pollution as they pass through the panel.


CNC “contour crafting� process to be used in development of first prototype allows each unique panel to be custom fabricated economically based on the parametric geometry. This additive fabrication process adds to the sustainable aspect of the panels by making it possible to produce the panels without the waste associated with conventional formwork.


airborne pollution

model photos and drawings landscape architect

3d prints of parametrically derived pore patterns test increases in surface area for better pollution absorption.

sound pollution

highway

highway

light pollution

By products in the form of pollution (airborne, light, and sound) are absorbed in to the sponge like surface mitigating the negative urban effects of the road in juxtaposition to the human scale.

residences

residences

ABSORBER


View of superABSORBER in LA - The superABSORBER is under consideration for use by the entire Los Angeles Unified School District in order to mitigate the poor air quality of schools along the highway. This rendering of superABSORBER by ahbe landscape architects, a firm that is interested in trying out the first superABSORBER prototype, shows the superABSORBER at a school project site.


Superabsorber project  
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