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Vietnam’s Clean Air High School on SE Asia’s Tallest Building

While Vietnam is on its way to tackle air pollution, a lot can be done to protect its citizens against fine dust.

Recent studies show that pollution and PM2.5 destroy brain cells, directly impacting the learning capacity of children. The same study shows that the higher up you go the lower the levels of PM2.5 become, which is why GreenID, in collaboration with Happiness Saigon, created “The High School” an extreme solution to get across that if nothing is done the only place where children will safely be able to learn is hundreds of meters above the ground.

While Vietnam is on its way to tackle air pollution, a lot can be done to protect its citizens against fine dust. An important part of this is the education around individual protection such as pollution masks and the installation of Air Quality Meters at important habitats such as schools and offices; something that GreenID and other stakeholders are working to change.

The importance of protection against fine dust is further emphasized by the COVID-19 pandemic, following the release of a Harvard study earlier this year linking air pollution to higher COVID-19 death rates. Researchers found that people with long-term exposure to high levels of fine particulate pollution (PM2.5) are 8% more likely to die from COVID-19 than those who live in a region that has just one unit less pollution.

Of even greater worry is the effect of fine dust on children who are at increased risk due to long-term exposure during their formative years. Such concerns include:

  • Their brains are still developing, and neurotoxic compounds in air pollution can affect children’s cognitive development
  • Children’s lungs are still developing, and air pollution can interfere with this biological process
  • They have less ability to metabolize, detoxify, and expel the toxicants contained in air pollution
  • The average school-aged child inhales at least twice as much oxygen (per kilogram of weight) compared to adults at rest due to their growth demands. Their oxygen intake increases, even more, when they are in an active state
  • Children get sick more often and take longer to fight and recover from illnesses
  • Babies born to women who were exposed to air pollution during their pregnancy are more likely to be born premature and have a low birthweight

To address these concerns “The High School” was brought to life to literally elevate children up above problems related to air pollution by being located 461 meters above the ground on the tallest building in Southeast Asia, and the 15th tallest building in the world, Landmark 81. Because air pollution generally declines with altitude.

On July 16th a class of 18 children went up for their first day at “The High School”. While they took their place in the high-altitude classroom, they attended a special lesson to learn more about air and the consequences of fine dust.

Today it is possible to symbolically enroll your children in “The High School” at

By enrolling parents automatically register their child’s current school for the installation of an Air Quality Meter. This will make it possible for parents and teachers to closely monitor the PM2.5 levels and take timely actions to protect their children by either playing inside or leaving children at home. The campaign also includes 6 steps that we can collectively take to lower the PM2.5 levels.


Partner: GreenID
Founder & CEO: Nguy Thi Khanh
Communication Manager: Nguyen Thi Trang Nguyen
Communication Officer: Tran Thao Ly
Technical Specialist: Nguyen Thi Anh Thu
Clean Air and Water Program Manager: Nguyen Thi Hang

Agency: Happiness Saigon
Executive Creative Management/CEO: Alan Cerutti
Executive Creative Director: Gregory Titeca
Creative Director: Marc Richard Vander Heyden
Concept Provider: Jazz Tonna
Concept Provider: Robin van Eijk
Creative Support: Nicholas Stillittano
Strategic Brand Planner: Linh Le
Account Manager: Mai Nguyen
Account Executive: Hang Le
Account Executive: Hang Luong
Head of Copywriting: Phuc Nguyen
Copywriter: Hoang Luu
Head of Design: Neena Felizzi Gatdula
Designer: An Dang

Production House: Yo!
Director: David Andre Robert Guibal
Art Director: Truong Trung Dao
Assistant Director: Jesson Luther Laville
Director of Photography: Adrien Joan Plate

Developer: BLISS interactive
Head of Technology: Thomas Colliers
Front-end Team Leader: Thai Nguyen
Project Manager: Duyen Do
Developer: Benjamin Richebois
Developer: Thong Hua