As great as a product as asphalt is, there’s no doubt that there is room for improvement. Scientists all over the world are trying to solve its most common issues, such as potholes, cracking, ice build-up, and storm water drainage. Los Angeles is now tackling another issue with the material: heat island effect.
One of the hottest parts of the Los Angeles area is Canoga Park, located in the San Fernando Valley. For that reason, the LA city officials are testing out a “cool pavement” coating to hopefully reduce the increased temperatures that asphalt causes.
10,000 square feet of a street in the area was coated with a paint-like material called CoolSeal, made by a company called GuardTop. Although the product is applied like paint, it’s actually an asphalt-based sealcoat.
Gregg Spotts, assistant director of L.A.’s Bureau of Street Services told ABC7 that the coating has dropped pavement temperatures 11-13 degrees versus adjacent pavement that has not been coated.
The coating is placed in two layers, with each layer being 15 microns thick. Spotts said that the first coat only took an hour for the first coat to dry.
15 streets across the city will have the material applied to it over time. Total project cost for all 15 roads is estimated to cost around $150,000.
While it’s scientifically proven that lighter colors reduce temperatures, lighter colors also greatly increases the glare, which will make sunglasses even more important in sunny California. I’m also curious to know how quickly the product loses efficiency as it gets dirtier from dirt and tires. To keep the surface lighter, consistent maintenance will become more important.
Nearby residents are hoping that the cooler temperatures help keep their energy costs down.
A new 21-story apartment building proposed for Milwaukee, Wisconsin as received unanimous approval from the City Plan Commission. If built, the new tower could possibly be North America’s tallest mass timber building.
The USGBC recently released their 2018 ranking of the Top 10 US States for LEED construction, which is sorted by Gross Square Footage per Capita. That ranking system allows them to get a fair comparison of states, despite differences in population and number of buildings.
Tall buildings made with structural timber have been on the rise in Canada and European countries in recent years, but the United States has been slower to adopt the method due to code restrictions. The state of Oregon recently released an addendum to their building code to allow taller mass timber buildings in the state and an upcoming International Code Council (ICC) vote could encourage more states to follow suit.
You may have been sitting in your house or office one day and noticed the distinct sound of a bird hitting the window. It’s pretty common, as it’s estimated that as many as 988 million birds die in the US each year by colliding into glass. The new arena that will house the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks has incorporated some design elements that will reduce the amount of birds killed by the massive structure, allowing it to be dubbed the “World’s Most Bird Friendly Sports Arena.”
Dubai has been on the bleeding edge of pushing the boundaries of construction for over a decade. The famous Burj Khalifa, the current World’s Tallest Building, but the United Arab Emirates on the map. Since then, the country has poured money and resources into the construction industry and have sets their sights on a new challenge: 3D construction printing.
Across the United States, any mass timber building designed to be taller than six stories high has to receive special approval from the building codes department. After a recent addendum was added to the Oregon’s building code, the state has become the first in the country to allow high rise mass timber buildings without receiving any special considerations.
Last summer, Tesla announced that the first of their solar roof tiles had been installed on test houses. However, as has become customary with many Tesla products, the company is experiencing significant manufacturing delays.
Since the dawn of green buildings, these projects have always been synonymous with LEED certification. The process of obtaining that LEED certification has not always been an easy one for contractors; there is a ton of paperwork and documentation that needs to take place in order to prove all LEED credits have been rightfully earned. A new construction standard, called BREEAM, is hoping to disrupt the United States’ green building certification world with its impending New Construction Standard Release in 2019.
One of the biggest hassles of site work in construction is the hauling away of spoils. It’s costly and time consuming to bring in truck after truck to take unneeded soil off to an unknown dump site. When Elon Musk and his team, The Boring Company, started digging a tunnel for a HyperLoop system in Los Angeles, they knew there had to be a better way to handle to soil than to haul it away.