The largely-populated urban landscape of asphalt, brick, dark metal and concrete rooftops soaks up a huge amount of radiation from sunlight – along with air pollution, waste heat from appliances etc. This phenomenon of heat absorption leads to an “Urban Heat Island” (UHI) effect, where cities are exposed to higher-than-normal heat stress, as compared to low lying open surrounding areas
We have put together some tips on how to reduce heat stress in cities and urban areas
1. White concrete rooftops
City rooftops are typically black because the traditionally-used tar and asphalt are waterproof, ductile and grip easily with any story of building material present in complex rooftop shapes and designs. Also, black and dull colors trap more solar heat, which results in warm surfaces. So, to neutralize the problem of urban heat island, more people are choosing bright, white roofs installed. The usage of white roofs is much more effective in reflecting up to 50% more sunrays thereby lowering the temperature. Additionally, white roofs and light-colored concrete reduce the overall air conditioning needs which helps in saving power costs
2 - Green roofs
Green roofs are a sustainable option for reducing the impacts of UHI. Green roofing is nothing but the practice of planting vegetation on a roof, just like they get planted in a garden. Greenery on the roof serves as a perfect insulator during summer and decrease the overall temperature. It also cools the surroundings, thereby reducing air conditioning demands. And, the added bonus is that the air quality improves, since the plants absorb CO2 and produce fresh air.
3- Green parking lots
Green parking lots are a product of sustainable infrastructure strategies to minimize the impacts of urban heat island effect on the surrounding. More specifically, it protects against the rise of pavement temperatures which, in turn, prevents harmful effects on ecosystem resulting from warmer storm water runoff.
When the sun sets, open the windows and doors and let the breeze in. Allow any warm air your home has accumulated in the hot daytime by allowing cooler air flow through into your home. Switch your hot daytime air with the cool night breeze. Let the atmosphere regulate itself! It can really help with the high indoor temperature. Also, keep in mind that safety & health is an also issue in many urban areas, so do remember to close your windows and doors before you call it a day.
Urban heat stress can be lessen with simplistic & defined approaches and a hint of common sense. If you live in an area that is prone to suffer the UHI effect; take personal measures & do your bit. If you are a corporation, make sure that all the building constructions that you own are build with precautions to fight of the possible effects of UHI. Take the above measures & you are good to go.