Environmental benefits of heat island mitigation measures

Virginia Gorsevski, Haider Taha, David Sailor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The urban heat island effect contributes to increased energy use and pollution in cities across the United States. Reversing this phenomenon through the use of reflective roof and paving material and strategically-placed vegetative cover saves individuals, communities, and cities energy and money, and can reduce local and global air pollution. The Urban Heat Island Pilot Project (UHIPP) seeks to determine which heat island mitigation measures are most effective for various regions in the U.S., and quantify the benefits associated with the implementation of these measures. Our new analyses show that Salt Lake City UT, Baton Rouge LA, and Sacramento CA could achieve average annual energy savings of up to $26 million from both the direct and indirect effects of heat island mitigation strategies. In addition, computer simulations indicate that adopting heat island reduction measures can result in average temperature reductions of 1.8 - 3.6°F over modified areas as well as changes in other meteorological parameters. The corresponding ozone reductions range from 1.1 - 4.4 ppb/°F. In order to provide information to additional communities about the potential benefits of cost-effective heat island mitigation measures, this paper will discuss the results of the pilot project, as well as the approach that is currently underway to streamline the meteorological and air quality modeling effort and reduce the costs and data burden on communities that wish to access the information.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)9.129-9.136
JournalProceedings ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings
StatePublished - Jan 1 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Energy


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