Research & Development


First anti-NOX textile facade enables nitrogen oxide reduction

Today the Senator of Finance of Hamburg, Dr. Andreas Dressel, inaugurated the first anti-NOX textile facade on an office building of the company ECE Europa Bau- und Projektmanagement GmbH in Hamburg, Germany. The innovative facade system is a light and transparent textile facade developed by the RWTH Aachen University in cooperation with the companies ECE, Hamburg, and INOK GmbH, Willich, Germany.

The researchers achieved the reduction of harmful nitrogen oxides (NO and NO2) by means of an innovative facade coating. The coating acts as a catalyst and binds the harmful nitrogen oxides from the city air directly to the facade surface under UV light. Oxidation processes convert the pollutants into small quantities of harmless salts.

When it rains, rainfall removes the salt residues from the facade surface. The rainwater is then returned to the cycle of nature. It can seep away or be used as fertilizer for plants. In the project, samples of the rainwater are taken in order to scientifically prove the environmental compatibility.

Innovative building envelope reduces cooling load of buildings in summer

In addition to the contribution to health protection made by air purification, the facade does even more. As a second building envelope, it lends the building a novel, futuristic appearance and also serves as an external sun protection. Studies have already proven that the new building envelope can reduce the solar cooling load of buildings in summer by up to 78 percent.

Facade system can also be retrofitted and is 100 percent recyclable

The facade system can be used for new buildings as well as for the subsequent energy-efficient renovation of existing buildings, thus contributing to climate protection. The new materials are 100 percent recyclable. In addition, the research team has just presented a variant in which the textile is made from recycled plastic bottles. The researchers are also working on integrating micro solar cells into the textile.

In the future, the facade is to be made available to ITA as a research laboratory in the field of sustainable building technology and contribute to testing prototypes under real conditions.

(c) 2020 ITA Aachen
(c) 2020 ITA Aachen

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