Lower the temperature of your building by 36 degrees Fahrenheit with this simple and inexpensive trick


Cities where the warming effects of tall buildings made of asphalt and concrete increase temperatures

A runner cools down with water in Skopje, North Macedonia, on July 12, 2023. —Reuters

Summers are increasingly dangerous, particularly in cities where the warming effects of tall buildings made of asphalt and concrete raise temperatures. bbc reported.

However, there is an easy and inexpensive way to cool urban landscapes with large buildings: retroreflectors.

A study published in the journal Natural Cities Monday shows that buildings with retroreflective material installed had a temperature drop of up to 36 degrees Fahrenheit.

Elie Bou-Zeid, a co-author of the study and a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Princeton University, said that reducing the temperature of buildings is “very, very important” for pedestrians at street level “because those walls radiate a lot.” warmth towards you.” .”

He added that cooling those surfaces to 36 degrees “will make you feel much more comfortable. “It's almost like being in the shadow.”

Cities are significantly warmer than surrounding suburbs and rural areas because of the way they are built. Tall buildings, dark roofs, asphalt and concrete absorb the sun's rays and reflect their energy to the environment in the form of heat: the so-called urban heat island effect.

Urban designers have begun to implement simple solutions to counteract the phenomenon of urban heat, including painting streets white, planting more trees and building green roofs. But researchers say the use of retroreflective materials would have a more powerful cooling effect.

Retroreflectors take advantage of a simple concept: three cubic corner-shaped mirrors reflect light in the direction it comes from. The same can be achieved with a bowl-shaped mirror.

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