Wilton DCP Takes on Urban Heat Island Effect with Light Coloured Roofs

Wilton’s new Development Control Plan (DCP) takes into account climate change, requiring roofs on new homes to have lighter, more reflective colors that can cool residential buildings in the warmer months.

In an effort to address the urban heat island effect, where human activities are driving up temperatures in metropolitan areas, light-colored roofs will offset the need for artificial cooling, reducing CO2 emissions. A study published in the Environment International found that cool roofs can lower temperatures by two degrees or more and save lives during heat waves.

Summer temperatures in Western Sydney continue to break records, with temperatures reaching a whopping 51.5 degrees Celsius in Badgerys Creek in December 2019. which will reduce the heat in the region.

The most recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change found that average temperatures across the country have risen exponentially since the industrial revolution. The country is warming faster than the global average and is creeping closer to the 1.5 degree limit set in the Paris climate agreement.

9,000 new homes, planned for the coming years, will have roofs painted with reflective properties. Sebastian Pfautsch, associate professor of Urban Ecosystem Science at Sydney’s Western University, says the paint can lower a building’s surface temperature by up to 40 degrees.

“The Covid-corrected forecasts tell us we will settle another 400,000 people in the area by 2030,” he said in an interview with the ABC.

“If we do that with black roofs, we’ll just build an oven for all those people. We have to get rid of it.”

In combination with the roofing requirements, the final DCP outlines that residential plots measuring 15 by 18 meters must accommodate a mature tree of at least eight meters in both the front and back garden of the house. This creates a green corridor that also counteracts the urban heat island effect by reducing CO2 emissions and thus improving local ecosystems.

This will help create a so-called green corridor, which counteracts the urban heat island effect by improving ventilation, absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and improving local biodiversity.

Reflective paint has been the subject of extensive research in the recent past, with a barium sulfate composite paint made by Indiana’s Purdue University and considered the whitest paint ever. The researchers claim that if the paint covered a roof area of ​​93 m², it could create a cooling capacity of ten kilowatts, much more powerful than domestic air conditioners.

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