Cool buildings and cool communities

TitleCool buildings and cool communities
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Publication1997
AuthorsAkbari, Hashem, and Arthur H. Rosenfeld
Conference NameProceedings of the Second International Conference on Buildings and the Environment
Date Published1997/june 9--12
Keywordsenergy savings, Heat Island

Analysis of temperature trends for the last 100 years in several large U. S. cities has indicated that since -1940 there has been a steady increase in downtown temperatures of 0.1-0.5DC per decade (-0.5°C for larger cities like Los Angeles and 0.1°C for smaller cities). Typically, electricity demand in cities increases by 2-4%/°C, hence, about 5-10% of the current urban electricity demand is spent to cool buildings just to compensate for the urban heat island effect. Downtown Los Angeles, for example, is now 3°C warmer than in 1940 leading to an increase in electricity demand of 1500 MW. In L.A., smoggy episodes are absent below about 21°C, but smog becomes unacceptable by 32°C, so a rise of 3°C, because of the heat island effects, can be significant. Urban trees and high-albedo surfaces can offset or reverse the heat island effect, and can potentially reduce the national energy use of air conditioning by 10% and save over $4B per year. The albedo of a city may be increased gradually if high-albedo surfaces are chosen to replace darker materials during routine maintenance of roofs and roads. Incentive programs, product labeling, and standards could promote the use of high-albedo materials for buildings and roads. Similar incentive-based programs need to be developed for urban trees.


Added to JabRef: 2010.04.21