Rutgers study develops special pavement for hotter climate

<p>Hao Wang, an associate professor in the Department of Civil &amp; Environmental Engineering at Rutgers, said more efficient, highly permeable concrete can be more valuable and cost-effective for cities.</p>

Hao Wang, an associate professor in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering at Rutgers, said more efficient, highly permeable concrete can be more valuable and cost-effective for cities.


Recently, there was a Rutgers-led study focusing on a special kind of concrete pavement and its effect on the environment. 

A Rutgers-led team of engineers found that a certain permeable concrete pavement could help reduce the “urban heat island effect” that causes cities to overheat in the summer, according to an article on Rutgers Today.

They added that the impermeable pavement that covers more than 30% of most urban areas can rise above 140 degrees Fahrenheit during the summer. 

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says that in cities with more than 1 million people, average air temperatures can be higher than in less densely populated cities, the article stated. This increases demand for things such as air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, heat-related illnesses and deaths and water pollution. 

The study, which appears in the "Journal of Cleaner Production," found that this special pavement may give off slightly more heat on sunny days than regular concrete pavement, but gives off 25 to 30% less heat on days following rainfall, according to the article. 

The Rutgers team of engineers developed and improved the design of permeable concrete that can transfer heat to the ground more quickly, which will further reduce heat output, the article stated. 

They added that permeable concrete is mostly used in low traffic areas, such as parking lots and sidewalks. The Rutgers engineers are studying how to make this special concrete stronger and more durable so it can soon be used in busier, more urban environments. 

Corresponding author Hao Wang, an associate professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Rutgers, spoke on this development.

“Highly efficient permeable concrete pavement can be a valuable, cost-effective solution in cities to mitigate the urban heat island effect, while benefiting stormwater management and improving water quality,” Wang said. 


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