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 Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), many reflective pavements have some unexpected drawbacks relative to conventional pavements when considering the entire life cycle of the materials.
Since 2014, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab's startup incubator program, Cyclotron Road, has helped energy researchers survive the "valley of death" that claims many budding ideas in the field. The six projects from the first year collectively raised more than $18 million in additional research funding or private investments. The program will soon welcome its third cohort of innovators.
For the past 40 years, Berkeley National Lab has been partnered with the window industry to help save American consumers money in energy costs by pioneering new energy-efficient windows, design tools, and window-rating systems.
The lab worked closely with window manufacturers and the building industry to develop, produce, validate, and deploy energy-saving low-emissivity or "low-E" coatings. Today more than 50% of window sales in the commercial market and 80% of the sales in the residential market incorporate low-E coatings, which can reduce window energy use by 30-40%.