A new billboard in Peru does more than advertise—it converts air into drinking water. A collaborative effort between Lima’s University of Engineering and Technology (UTEC) and ad agency Mayo DraftFCB, the billboard aims to encourage more student applications. The side effect: The billboard has also produced 9,450 liters of clean water for local communities over the past three months.
“Lima is the second largest capital in the world set on a desert, and a lot of the residents draw water from wells, which can get polluted,” shares PSFK. “As it doesn’t rain often in the city, but atmospheric humidity is 98 percent, the billboard could prove very useful for the locals. The generators capture the air humidity and turn it into purified water, which is stored in tanks and can be retrieved by residents from taps at the base of the billboard.”
Check out the video detailing the project, below:
According to the video, the moist air is made through a series of reverse osmosis machines installed inside the billboard, an air filter, condenser and carbon filter. This entire process generates roughly 96 liters of water daily. The water is stored at the top in tanks and is released via a faucet at the bottom of the billboard.
And this isn’t the first time a billboard has gone green. In 2011, Coca-Cola teamed up with the World Wildlife Federation to place a 60-by-60 foot billboard in Makati, Phillipines to reduce air pollution. The billboard was filled with 3,600 potted Fukien tea plants that were modified to grow sideways in a discarded Coca-Cola bottle with organic fertilizers. It was estimated that the billboard could absorb 46,800 pounds of carbon dioxide a year.
“We are proud that we have brought to life the first plant billboard in the country,” said Guillermo Aponte, president of Coca-Cola Philippines, in a press release. “It is an embodiment of our company’s ‘live positively’ commitment to making a positive difference in the world by incorporating sustainability into everything that we do. With this, we hope to inspire Filipinos to join us in our journey, because we know that together, we can make a positive impact.”
Just last year, we shared that Los Angeles-based artist Stephen Glassman had a new Urban Air project, which aims to be “an artwork, a symbol and an instrument for a green future” by changing billboards into bamboo gardens, intelligent technology and global nodes.
Glassman has his hands on a donated billboard on a Los Angeles freeway. He plans to replace the facade with architecturally integrated planters that will host a live bamboo forest. Misters will keep the forest watered up. The floating forest will, without a doubt, be a stark contrast to the urban skyline for commuters. What’s more, the forest will be Wi-Fi enabled and have climate monitoring technology that will father and transmit data from the forest.