Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat
Dust-Collecting Skyscraper
Hong Seob Ahn

Third Prize Winner
Site: Beijing, China
University of Seoul
Competition: CTBUH 3rd Annual Student Competition - 2014 Towards Sustainable Vertical Urbanism

Building overall
Section and Typical Plan of the Residential Area
Mechanical Filter
Mechanical Part
Forest Purifier
Hanging City and Quality Air Flow Diagrams
Residential Area Structure

Dust-Collecting Skyscraper

Approximately 13% of China’s surface area is occupied by the desert and these areas are major known sources of the yellow dust, or also known as the Asian dust. Yellow dust is created when, one, the winds in the desert regions mobilize large quantities of dust into the atmosphere, and two, strong westerly winds carry the dust from these regions to the thousands of kilometers over the Pacific Ocean. Healthy individuals that live in areas that are affected by the yellow dust experience a decline in visibility and increase in health problems.

Many Asian countries such as Korea and Japan suffer from the yellow dust, but Beijing city in China experiences a particularly higher degree of it. This is because Beijing is located closer in proximity to the deserts that creates yellow dust. In Beijing, whenever a windstorm occurs, sand and dust fills up the sky and the ground becomes completely covered with a thick layer of sand. Quite often this continues for several days. Under such weather conditions people are required to remain indoors as much as possible. If they choose to go outside, they have to wear a protective mask or veil otherwise the sand can enter their respiratory systems and cause infections.

During the yellow dust occurrences, fresh air becomes a dilemma for the citizens of Beijing. When windows remain closed the air condition becomes poor and there is poor ventilation, to achieve ventilation through opening the windows would result in dust coming into the room. This is the reason why I came up with a tall building that can both purify the dust air and provide fresh air for its inhabitants.

There are mainly three parts to the air- providing system: a purifier, a hydrator, and a green chamber. These are placed in the middle level of the building. The purifier first sucks in the dust air from the outside and separates sand and other pollutants from the air. The hydrator then again purifies and hydrates the purified air with steam. The green chamber works to enhance the air quality by circulating the low- pressured air around the trees which add oxygen and minerals in the air. This ‘treated’ air is then ready to be circulated around the building. Unlike in other buildings where windows are opened to the outside, the residents in this building will open the windows to the inside which is abundant with fresh air.