[WATCH] This stunning building purifies the air

The Palazzo Italia not only looks beautiful, but actually cleans smog from the air too.

The innovative building, showcased at the 2015 Milan Expo, is clad with 900 biodynamic concrete panels, which captures pollution in the air, turning it into harmless salts.

The smog-eating abilities of the building aren't the only sustainable features of this incredible design. The concrete used for the 9000 square-metre façade is made with 80% recycled materials, and the roof of the building is constructed using photovoltaic glass, which generates electricity during the day. Overall, the building uses 40% less energy than other buildings of it's size.

The façade of the building, in both design and function, imitates trees in an urban context. The shape of the concrete panels (all of which are unique) mimic tree branches, whilst in function, the building draws from the natural air-purifying properties of trees.

When left unaddressed, air pollution from human influence can be devastating. Transport, the coal industry and even fertilisers are contributing to harmful particles being dispersed in the air that living organisms on our planet breathe. At worst, poisoning from air pollution can even cause death. The facts on air pollution are confronting, but intelligent technology such as used in the Palazzo Italia are helping to address this pressing issue.

Trust the Italians to create a building with unrivalled functionality AND style!

Click on image to watch a short video about the Palazzo Italia:

This impressive building is a great example of the awesome potential of innovation and design in creating sustainable cities of the future. We're so used to the status-quo, it's easy to dismiss the idea of establishing a truly sustainable, low-impact city as being out of reach. In reality, it's just a matter of rethinking the things which we perceive as being unchangeable or just the "the way things have always been done."

Sustainable architecture and design is a huge sector whose potential is now being realised globally. There is an abundance of creative talent who believe in a green future, and who are re-imaging our cities to not only meet our needs today, but meet our needs tomorrow. Because who wants a beautiful building, if we can't enjoy it in a liveable, healthy world?

“Sustainable development is that which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”
- Gro Harlem Brundtland, former PM Norway.

We're always showcasing developments in sustainable design at 1 million women, keep on eye on the blog for updates!

Header image: Gizmag

Read this next: Cities of tomorrow: There's more to Paris than baguettes and cobble stones

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