urban heat island effect

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Cool Roofs Cut Urban Water Consumption

An LBNL study predicts widespread adoption of “cool roof” coverings would save millions of gallons of water per day

Posted on Dec 15 2017 by Scott Gibson

Researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have found that the widespread use of reflective roofing has the potential to save cities millions of gallons of water while also lowering ambient air temperatures.

Outdoor water consumption would drop by as much as 9% with the widespread use of cool roofs, according to climate simulations for 18 counties in California. If all of the buildings in Los Angeles County had reflective roofs, water savings would equal 83 million gallons per day in reduced demand for landscape watering.


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Image Credits:

  1. National Renewable Energy Laboratory / Department of Energy

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Denver Will Vote on a Green Roof Initiative

Solar panels or garden space would be required on large buildings, but the mayor says the plan goes too far

Posted on Oct 27 2017 by Scott Gibson

A proposal facing Denver voters next month would require developers of buildings larger than 25,000 square feet to cover part of the roof with vegetation or solar panels.

In September, environmental activists narrowly won the right to place the Denver Green RoofRoof system in which living plants are maintained in a growing medium using a membrane and drainage system. Green roofs can reduce storm-water runoff, moderate temperatures in and around the building (by providing insulation and reducing heat island effect), as well as provide a habitat for wildlife and recreational space for humans. When properly constructed, green roofs can increase roof durability because the roof assembly’s air and water barriers are buffered from temperature fluctuations and UV exposure. Initiative before voters by collecting just 45 more petition signatures than they needed, The Denver Post reported.


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Image Credits:

  1. MSU Infrastructure via Flickr

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