Using photocatalytic mitigation of construction pollution to clean air

Breathe free: how to use photocatalytic mitigation of construction pollution to clean air and save lives

Each year, as many as 5,000 people die each year from nitrogen dioxide (NO2) pollution in the UK. One major offender is construction. Construction contributes to nitrogen oxides through powered construction equipment such as generators and diggers. They are  largely diesel fuelled and they belch NOx in their exhaust fumes.

Today Create Streets are publishing a new policy note, Breathe Free, by Hugh Gatenby which suggests a practical and implementable way to cut the contribution of construction to Nitrogen dioxide pollution.

  • A readily available solution could halve the problem. Using titanium dioxide on construction hoardings might reduce construction emissions of nitrogen dioxide by up to 50 per cent.
  • Construction equipment does not get replaced quickly. With very high costs, builders typically hang on to machinery for up to 20 years. Change to machinery therefore risks being very slow.
  • National regulation, the Greater London Authority and local authorities and the British Standards Institute could all start the process immediately to mandate or strongly encourage the use of titanium dioxide on construction hoardings. They should.

You can read the full report here

Our proposals have featured in The Times today and Hugh also wrote about it for Building Design