Daylighting: What is it and how can you get it? Read More
An Urban Heat Island (UHI), found in metropolitan areas, is when the city temperature is considerably warmer than the surrounding rural areas, due to human activities. In these areas, the temperature is often much higher at night, and the effect is more pronounced during the summer and winter. Urban Heat Islands are caused by dark or massively solid surfaces, which absorb/collect heat, then release that heat at night; asphalt, concrete and tar are good examples—think of large paved parking lots, tar and gravel roofs and concrete arroyos and buildings. A lack of vegetation is another reason for UHI effects: with fewer trees, cities lose essential cooling effect and valuable shade; and the removal of carbon dioxide, created by the trees, adds to the temperature rise. Besides the increase in temperature, UHI’s can alter cloud patterns and trap particulate matter below cooler layers, creating pollution. UHI’s increase the demand for energy—air conditioners run longer—which costs more, and creates more waste pollution. An example of the Urban Heat Island effect is the weather forecast: notice the temps up & down the Rio Grande Valley—the Metro temperature is often higher than areas north or south. Read More
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