Recent News & Events

How Scientists Are Helping Cities Adapt to Extreme Heat

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Since early July, the Earth has sweltered under record-breaking heat. In the United States, from California and the Desert Southwest to Texas and Florida, a long-lasting heat wave in the triple digits has broken dozens of heat records – and counting.


Cityscape against orange sky with sun overhead.

Helping Cities Cope with Heat

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

By the middle of this century, temperatures in some California cities are expected to be in the triple digits for a third of the year.

That’s dangerously hot. Heat already kills more people each year than any other weather-related disaster,


Full-color graphic showing differences in late afternoon temperatures across seven types of living environments, from rural farmland to city downtowns

New Smart-Roof Coating Enables Year-Round Energy Savings

Friday, December 17, 2021

Scientists have developed an all-season smart-roof coating that keeps homes warm during the winter and cool during the summer without consuming natural gas or electricity. Research findings reported in the journal Science point to a groundbreaking


Samples of the temperature-adaptive radiative coating. The material looks like Scotch tape and can be affixed to a rooftop. (Credit: Thor Swift/Berkeley Lab)

‘Cool Walls’ Get a Boost from U.S. Green Building Council

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Sunlight-reflecting “cool walls” have been shown to reduce energy costs by lowering heat gain in buildings. But they do more – reflective walls can also cool cities, fighting the urban heat island


Tall building with white walls

Ronnen Levinson on NPR's Science Friday

Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Last week Ronnen Levinson, leader of the Berkeley Lab Heat Island Group, was featured on NPR's Science Friday broadcast. He was invited to join the program to discuss cool surfaces and other city-cooling strategies on the segment "Hot Enough For You?


Image for NPR's Science Friday

Call for presentations for Cool Building Solutions for a Warming World workshop

Friday, April 26, 2019

The Heat Island Group at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) is collaborating with the broader urban heat island (UHI) countermeasures community to identify and assess UHI countermeasures (e.g., high-reflectance surfaces, wet surfaces



NEW: International Million Cool Roofs Challenge

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Our collaborator Global Cool Cities just announced the Million Cool Roofs Challenge -- an unprecedented, $2 million effort to create cooler communities in places that need it most.  

The Challenge is made up of two parts: an outcome-


Egyptian Blue for Energy Efficiency

Tuesday, October 9, 2018

A color developed by Egyptians thousands of years ago has a modern-day application as well – the pigment can boost energy efficiency by cooling rooftops and walls, and could also enable solar generation of electricity via windows.

Egyptian blue


Berkeley Lab Takes Home 2016 R&D 100 Award for Cool Roof Time Machine

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

R&D Magazine's R&D 100 Awards, established 54 years ago, recognize 100 technologies and services introduced in the previous year deemed most significant by an independent panel of judges. This year's winners received the awards at a November 3


The Cool Roof Time Machine Team with their 2016 R&D 100 Award

Not All Cool Pavements Are Created Equal

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Berkeley Lab finds that the choice of pavement material can significantly impact carbon emissions, creates decision tool for cities to use

Cool pavements can help keep cities cool, right? Yes, but according to new research from the Department of


Road construction with fresh asphalt (Credit: wabeno/iStock)