Heat Island Effect and it’s Mitigation

What is Heat Island Effect?

 Heat island refers to urban air and surface temperatures that are higher than nearby rural areas. Many cities and suburbs have air temperatures that are 1 to 6°Celsius warmer than the surrounding natural land cover.

These elevated temperatures can impact communities in a number of ways. Elevated temperatures can impact communities by increasing

  1. Peak energy demand

  2. Air conditioning costs

  3. Air pollution levels

  4. Heat-related illness and mortality.


p style=”text-align: justify;”>Why Should We Care About Heat Islands?


p style=”text-align: justify;”>Elevated temperature from urban heat islands, particularly during the summer, can affect a community’s environment and quality of life. While some heat island impacts seem positive, such as lengthening the plant-growing season, most impacts are negative and include:

-Increased energy consumption: Higher temperatures in summer increase energy demand for cooling and add pressure to the electricity grid during peak periods of demand.

-Elevated emissions of air pollutants and greenhouse gases: Increasing energy demand generally results in greater emissions of air pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions from power plants. Higher air temperatures also promote the formation of ground-level ozone.

-Compromised human health and comfort: Warmer days and nights, along with higher air pollution levels, can contribute to general discomfort, respiratory difficulties, heat cramps and exhaustion, non-fatal heat stroke, and heat-related mortality.

-Impaired water quality: Hot pavement and rooftop surfaces transfer their excess heat to stormwater, which then drains into storm sewers and raises water temperatures as it is released into streams, rivers, ponds, and lakes. Rapid temperature changes can be stressful to aquatic ecosystems.


How can we mitigate this Heat island effect?

Communities can take a number of steps to reduce the heat island effect, using four main strategies:

-Increasing tree and vegetative cover;

-Creating green roofs (also called “rooftop gardens” or “eco-roofs”);

-Installing cool roofs and cool pavements

I would further like to elaborate on one such method that is primarily used in the construction industry and that is Roofs and Walls with application of Cool Coatings which are usually in a liquid emulsion base.

The main property which we should keep in mind is the SRI value ie. Solar Reflectivity Index. The higher the SRI of a product, better is the cooling.

Cool Roofs

Cool Roofs are a cost-effective strategy to save energy, improves cities, and cools the planet.

“Cool” roofs are lighter in colour than traditional black slabs and therefore reflect more of the sun’s heat.

Cool roofs save money by keeping indoor temperatures more comfortable in warm weather and reducing the need for air conditioning.


And since smog forms more rapidly at higher temperatures, reducing excess urban heat can also make city air safer to breathe. To top it off, cooler temperatures can make heat waves less hazardous to city-dwellers.

On a larger scale, the impact can be even greater. A global campaign to brighten cities could cancel out some of the warming caused by greenhouse gases. This is because reducing energy absorption at Earth’s surface decreases the amount of heat these gases can trap in the atmosphere.

Energy saved is energy conserved.


The enormous economic changes & growth taking place at furious rate have broadened its horizons. This growth has increased our demand for energy conservation for fight against drastic environmental changes, smog and declining air quality mainly due to the increased pollution & solar heat.

Builders, Architects, Service Consultants and users alike are constantly looking for ways to enhances and protect the quality & Aesthetics of structural construction by preventing erosion. Also, they are looking to enhance energy-efficiency in buildings. Insulation in buildings has a potential to reduce overall energy consumption to an extent of 10-20%.

Beside insulation Solar Reflection plays sequel & important role to conserve energy . Insulation reduces the conduction of heat already produced but IR Reflection Treatment reduces / stops the heat production itself on the treated surface of the substrate . This reduces the heat transmittance indoors & also reduces the dispersion of heat in the atmosphere , thus reducing the Heat Island Effect.

Read Full Article at https://goo.gl/QUt6Fg

3 thoughts on “Heat Island Effect and it’s Mitigation

  • 10 July, 2015 at 4:49 am

    Thanks Arnav. Very Informative. What would you say about the new fad of building glass house structures to avoid usage of building material . How it effects the rise of temperature?

  • 10 July, 2015 at 8:05 pm

    Very informative..a year back when i was trekking in Himachal Pradesh i noticed few roof covered with reflecting tiles. I was wondering whether it could be for the same reason


Welcome! Fellow Green Living Enthusiast

%d bloggers like this: