An Easy Way To Reduce The Heat Island Effect

Posted on: 9 September 2019

No matter what you think about climate change, you can't deny that standing in a huge parking lot can feel a lot hotter than standing on a grassy field. That's the heat island effect at work on a small scale. Over a large area and over time, all the pavement in the area can absorb and then ooze enough heat to make the air feel much hotter than in surrounding areas.

By using cool-paving techniques, you reduce the amount of heat that's absorbed into the pavement. That means there is less heat to seep out, and the area feels cooler. It might not necessarily feel cold, but you could have temperatures in the 90s in summer instead of 100.

Gray-Colored Sealcoating

One option is to cover existing roads and lots that are in good condition with a gray-colored sealcoat. The gray color makes the lighter pavement easier to look at on bright days — there isn't the same sort of blinding effect you get with white pavement — and it's an easy fix. It's not the only fix you should use, however. If you use the gray sealcoating, also start a tree-planting program on your facility's property. The gray and the shade work together, with the gray color working on areas that can't be shaded by trees.

Permeable Pavers

Another possibility for areas such as driveways is permeable pavement that allows some grass or ground to show through. Some forms look like lattices or grids, with a lot of grass growing among the pavers (obviously, this isn't a good choice if your facility deals with flammable items, but it could work for an office building complex). Other forms use solid pavers that are permeable to rain and that are spaced just enough to allow more rain to reach below the pavers instead of running off.

In terms of reducing the heat island effect, the added space between pavers, plus the greenery, react better in terms of heat absorption. The pavers tend to be lighter in color, so even if you use the solid pavers that have just a little space between them, you should feel a bit of a reduction in heat compared to areas that are paved traditionally.

Speak with a paving construction company about the options they have for driveways, lots, and roads around your facility. Reducing the heat island effect makes the area more comfortable for workers and visitors.

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