Heat island effect - nonroof | U.S. Green Building Council
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LEED BD+C: New Construction | v3 - LEED India 2011

Heat island effect - nonroof

SSc7.1 | Possible 1 point


To reduce heat islands8 to minimize impacts on microclimates and human and wildlife habitats.



For each option below, if SRI information is not available for the specified product, demonstrate compliance using the SRI calculator in California’s Energy Efficiency Standards for Residential and Nonresidential Buildings (California Code of Regulations, Title 24, Part 6; available at http://www.energy.ca.gov/title24/2008standards/sri_calculator/SRI_Calcul...). This calculator uses solar reflectance and thermal emittance to determine the SRI of roofing materials.


Use any combination of the following strategies for 50% of the site hardscape (including roads, sidewalks, courtyards and parking lots):

  • Provide shade from the existing tree canopy or within 5 years of landscape installation. Landscaping (trees) must be in place at the time of occupancy.
  • Provide shade from structures covered by solar panels that produce energy used to offset some nonrenewable resource use.
  • Provide shade from architectural devices or structures that have a solar reflectance index9 (SRI) of at least 29.
  • Use hardscape materials with an SRI of at least 29.
  • Use an open-grid pavement system (at least 50% pervious).



Place a minimum of 50% of parking spaces under cover10. Any roof used to shade or cover parking must have an SRI of at least 29, be a vegetated green roof or be covered by solar panels that produce energy used to offset some nonrenewable resource use.

8 Heat islands are defined as thermal gradient differences between developed and undeveloped areas.
9 The solar reflectance index (SRI) is a measure of the constructed surface’s ability to reflect solar heat, as shown by a small temperature rise. It is defined so that a standard black surface (reflectance 0.05, emittance 0.90) is 0 and a standard white surface (reflectance 0.80, emittance 0.90) is 100. To calculate the SRI for a given material, obtain the reflectance value and emittance value for the material. SRI is calculated according to ASTM E 1980. Reflectance is measured according to ASTM E 903, ASTM E 1918, or ASTM C 1549. Emittance is measured according to ASTM E 408 or ASTM C 1371.
10 For the purposes of this credit, under cover parking is defined as parking underground, under deck, under roof, or under a building.
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