Friday, November 21, 2014

Berkeley Lab scientists, including the Heat Island Group's Dr. Ronnen Levinson, each presented one of the Lab's 8 Big Ideas in front of a packed house in Oakland, CA on 8 October, 2014. His presentation, "Cool Roofs through Time and Space", featured the new California Cities Albedo Map. The presentation is now posted online and can be viewed on YouTube.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

By Wendy Koch, USA TODAY
California has completed the highest number of goals to prepare for climate change, according to a first-of-its-kind 50-state tracking tool unveiled Thursday. California has been a leader, achieving 48 or 14% of its 345 self-described climate goals, says the new online tool developed by the Georgetown Climate Center. It passed, for example, a "cool pavements" bill in 2012 to encourage lighter-colored paving materials that reduce the heat-island effect in urban areas.

Monday, September 29, 2014

How cool is your roof? If you live in the California cities of Bakersfield, Long Beach, Los Angeles, San Francisco, or San Jose, you may be able to find out. Scientists from the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have created an interactive map that displays the solar reflectance (also known as albedo) of individual roofs in these five West Coast cities. You can check out the map at

Monday, September 29, 2014

Ronnen Levinson, Heat Island Group leader and staff scientist, was recently interviewed by Southern California Public Radio to discuss the new interactive rooftop reflectance map for California cities. Check out the new map for yourself at

Friday, September 12, 2014

Former Heat Island Group member, George Ban-Weiss, was recognized by "MIT Technology Review" as one of the world's "35 top innovators under the age of 35" for his research that is informing CA policy on climate change and urban air quality.

Friday, September 12, 2014

The Heat Island Group, with support from the California Energy Commission and California Air Resources Board, developed a new web portal for local governments to learn more about the science and implementation of cool community strategies in California. The new portal features information on urban vegetation, cool roofs and cool pavements on The website also includes information for individuals to learn more about what are and how to install cool roofs.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

After three years of collaborative investigation, Heat Island Group researchers co-authored a paper with Chinese researchers find positive results for white roofs in the four hot-summer cities. The authors conclude that cool roofs should be credited or required in building energy efficiency standards for all hot-summer climates in China.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

By Benjamin Mandel
From his office in the Berkeley hills, Art Rosenfeld looks out on the heart of California’s Bay Area. While his vantage point has remained unchanged since 1955, the view outside his window has changed considerably--many buildings now boast noticeably brighter rooftops than they did even a few years ago, a direct result of Rosenfeld’s vision.

Monday, June 30, 2014

By Candace Pearson
Cool roofs—those with reflectance and emissivity that make them good at keeping out the sun’s heat—are recommended widely without much regard for climate or project specifics. They’ve been adopted into multiple energy codes, and the concept even has its own bill in the U.S. Senate. But it turns out that, beneath one of the least controversial green building recommendations, a debate is raging.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

U.S. EPA's Heat Island Reduction Program
The U.S. EPA is hosting a webinar for participants to learn learn how communities are taking a number of common-sense steps to reduce the effects of summertime heat islands. It will feature case studies from across the country, showcasing the actions that communities are taking now to reduce the heat island effect, including cool roof ordinances, tree-planting campaigns, and heat management planning.