California researchers promote new pavements to cool cities

cool pavements

In an effort to combat the sunlight absorption and heat radiation resulting from the typical black asphalt pavement, researchers at the University of California’s Lawrence Berkeley Lab are showcasing some cooler alternatives, according to Fast Company.

The Heat Island Group, part of Lawrence Berkeley Lab, is displaying six cool pavings – designed to reflect 30 to 50 percent of heat, versus the 5 percent conventional surfaces reflect – alongside traditional asphalt in Berkeley’s parking lot.

Heat Island Group researcher Benjamin Mandel said the new pavings are about 40 degrees F cooler than black asphalt.

Mandel said most cities consist of about one-third to two-fifths of asphalt, and the switch to cooler pavings can have many positive effects such as lower temperatures, improved air quality and more. He said he hopes the cool pavement display will initiate local government action.

Watch the video below for more information about Lawrence Berkeley Lab’s cooler pavement options.

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