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Self-cleaning Skyscrapers

Acrophobic window-washers unite!
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Skyscrapers in my home city seem to forever-and-always be crawling with window-washing technicians dangling precariously from various scaffold apparatus. By having the buildings wash themselves, body corporates could rid themselves of the costs and risks associated with this practice.

This concept could only be applied to glass-faced buildings. Arrange a delivery system for copious amounts of water to be run down the glass panels of the structure on a regular basis (or more/less often, depending on the relative dustiness of the environment). This would wash grime and dust that has accumulated on the windows since the last purge. When the water reaches bottom, it would be collected in attractive water features, ready to be pumped to the top of the building when needed next.

Obvious practical jokes to be played on buildings fitted with this system would revolve around putting detergent into the water supply (thus guaranteeing a hilarious display of bubbles around the base of the skyscraper).

vigilante, Aug 12 2003

Self cleaning glass http://www.pilkingt...english/default.htm
[spekkie, Oct 04 2004]

[link]






       Maybe some sort of windscreen-wiper style of thing? But when you think about how many windows there are on one skyscraper, it might be a bit of an expense...
Detly, Aug 12 2003
  

       This is an interesting idea, but it seems costly to devise a pump system that functions for the entire skyscraper.
darkknight_152002, Aug 12 2003
  

       Then again, would it be more costly than hiring a company to set up scaffolding and pay two people to wash it for you?
Detly, Aug 12 2003
  

       You should just invent glass that doesn't get dirty.
DeathNinja, Aug 12 2003
  

       It takes an incredible amount of energy/ pressure to push water up 100+ floors only to run it down the outside. Then factor in the wind and you'll be subjecting everyone 200m downwind to a constant shower of dirty water.   

       Like the bubbles though
FloridaManatee, Aug 12 2003
  

       You could genetically modify nano-machines to clean the glass converting dust and carbon deposits into a custard based derivative, which can be served in the office canteen.
silverstormer, Aug 12 2003
  

       Self cleaning glass is already baked. See link.
spekkie, Aug 12 2003
  

       I'm looking forward to the big rotating brush that runs up and down the building, before it's waxed and hot air dried.
oneoffdave, Aug 12 2003
  

       Yep, as [spekkie] sez. Baked by Pilks.
squeak, Aug 12 2003
  

       I was going to post an invention for cleaning skyscrapers, but decided it was too complicated to be good HB material, so I’ll just ask this question:   

       Can ya make a fully automated cleaner that works on almost all skyscrapers (ledges included) without the water touching the ground (which is usually a sidewalk), and do so without altering the aesthetics of the building? Answer: Yes.   

       <back on topic> 1) Glass faced skyscrapers are a limited market, and even then many of them have protruding window frames so the water wouldn’t flow to the second panel down. 2) The sidewalk... or were you planning to narrow the street? 3) No need to worry about the sidewalk, the wind is going to turn this into a giant humidifier.   

       Sorry for being negative, but I actually did think this one through.   

       P.S. It’s not likely that building owners will be converting to self-cleaning glass any time soon.
Shz, Aug 12 2003
  

       Of historical interest only now, the WTC had window-washing robots that ran up and down the narrow channels of the windows.
DrCurry, Aug 12 2003
  

       To stop the falling water being blown about by the wind, encase the entire skyscraper in a further layer of glass.
my face your, Aug 12 2003
  

       When I was in the Navy, our ship had a device like this installed on it.   

       Apparently, spraying water on the outside of a structure prevents poisonous gasses, radiation, or bacteria from getting in.   

       Or maybe that was duct tape...   

       Anyway, we'd run it just before pulling into port so the ship would look clean. Then after we ran it, it would be necessary to get about 300 of the 500 people on the ship to go out, and wash the ship off with hoses and mops and such.   

       Sounds potentially unbakable to me, but you might be able to sell it as protection against terrorist attacks.
ye_river_xiv, Jun 17 2006
  
      
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