In 2006, California introduced the Global Warming Solutions Act (Assembly Bill 32), which requires California to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. Several "cool community" strategies, including cool roofs, cool pavements, cool walls and urban vegetation have been identified as effective voluntary measures with potential statewide emission reductions of 4 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent per year. To help realize these savings, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) has been tasked with advancing the science and implementation of cool community strategies.
The Cool Communities project provides technical assistance to California communities for the development of cool community programs that save energy, reduce emission of greenhouse gases, and improve the urban environment. This includes scientific research as well as educational and outreach efforts. Elements include:
- A database of cool roof retrofit projects and case studies
- Cool roof study and demonstration
- Cool pavement study and demonstration
- A cool roof website for consumers
- Cool community courses
- A cool roof survey instrument
- A study of the effect of vegetation on community albedo
- A study of the effect of multiple absorption and reflection on community albedo
As part of the outreach efforts in Cool Communities, LBNL hosted a technical seminar for local government officials on the benefits of reflective pavements in June 2012. See below for video footage of the event.
LBNL has also teamed with industry partners to demonstrate a range of cool pavement products, spanning a range of materials, colors, and manufacturers. See below for a video feature on LBNL's "Cool Pavement Showcase".