In the United States there are 46,837 miles of highways with miles of sound barrier walls being erected daily to mitigate the negative impacts of highway systems on urban neighborhoods. At the same time, these transportation systems alone produce 1.4 billion tons of airborne pollution annually. With the increasing prominence of this additional component to our highway infrastructure, the public is beginning to demand a more appealing design solution to highway-generated air, sound, and light pollution.
In addition to mitigating sound and light pollution as present highway barrier systems do, the Superabsorber system also absorbs airborne pollutants. Designed by Douglas Hecker and Martha Skinner of Clemson-based FieldOffice, this innovative system has the potential to significantly reduce airborne pollution in urban areas with the application of photocatalytic cement products that have been demonstrated to reduce air pollution in urban areas by 50% when covering just 15% of urban surfaces. The inclusion of this surface application on future concrete barrier systems represents a significant amount of surface area for absorption of air pollution in urban areas.