SOM in the Press

Ventilation Goes Vegetal: CASE’s Plant-Based Air Filtration System

Photo © CASE

Source: Urban Omnibus

If you’ve driven through the Bronx on the Hutchinson River or Pelham Parkways recently, you’ve likely noticed the construction of a looming 250-foot, serrated metal cube. This facility, the City’s second Public Safety Answering Center (PSAC II), is deliberately defensive — once fully operational early next year, it will house command and control center operations for the fire and police departments in the case of a major emergency in addition to operating 24/7 as a 911 call intake and dispatch center. ...

Jason Vollen: PSAC II will be New York City’s second 911 call center, providing redundancy to the existing center in Brooklyn and operating 24/7. Because it will be a secure facility, workers can’t easily go outside to get fresh air — and if they could, they’d be right near the intersection of the Pelham and Hutchinson River Parkways in the Bronx. That makes indoor air quality especially critical.

As the associate director of the Center for Architecture Science and Ecology (CASE) — a research group cohosted with Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) — our team worked on designing a system to improve air quality. SOM was contracted by the New York City Department of Design and Construction (DDC) to design PSAC II, so we worked alongside them to develop a new kind of air filter: our Active Modular Phytoremediation System (AMPS).

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