Green Roofs Reduce the Urban Heat Island Effect

13Feb14

My very interesting future research; Mitigating Urban Heat Island via Green Roofs!

THE DIRT


A new green roof project organized by Columbia University and New York power company Con Edison adds to a growing body of research that demonstrate green roofs reduce the urban heat island effect. Using Con Edison’s training center in Long Island City, Queens, the researchers found that a layer of roof-friendly soils and plants reduce the rate of heat absorption by 84 percent in the summer, bringing down building cooling energy costs as a result.   

The urban heat island effect refers to localized urban warming caused by lots of paved, dark-surfaced rooftops, streets, and parking lots. Given much of any city is covered in these low-albedo surfaces, cities can experience temperatures significantly higher than nearby green areas. Just in New York City, say Columbia researchers, perhaps “two-thirds of New York’s localized warming over the last century” is due to surfaces like conventional black rooftops, which absorb and then re-radiate light from the sun as heat. 

Reducing the urban heat…

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