A black asphalt Arizona parking lot that reaches 200 degrees in the summertime has been replaced with a solar-reflective “green” pavement that can withstand heavy traffic and decrease surface temperature by up to 50 degrees, the manufacturer says.
Emerald Cities USA Ltd. recently donated and installed the 24,000-square-foot parking lot at the Robert L. Duffy Charter School in Phoenix’s Recovery Zone.
The project aims “to showcase the importance of Cool Pavement coatings as a climate change solution for inner cities,” said Emerald Cities USA, a division of Emerald Cities International.
Two years in development, the zero-carbon product is a nano-engineered, ultra-high-performance thin concrete (UHPTC) that can be rolled or sprayed on like paint, according to the manufacturer. The nano-composite will hold up under the wear and tear of traffic, the company says.
Emerald Cities says the product is 1/6 inch thick, 4,300+ psi, skid resistant, impervious to UV, non-delaminating, and costs $1 per square foot. Asphalt milling is not required before surfacing. Emerald Cities says its pavements have an average Solar Reflectance Index of .40 to .55.
The product extends the service life of existing asphalt and comes in shades of gray with its own patch mix for road repair and maintenance, the company says.
Cool Schools, Communities
The manufacturer has established several initiatives to put the product into wider use.
A nonprofit “Cool Schools” program seeks corporate sponsorship of community events where students, faculty and parents can “cool coat” their own school yards with donated Emerald Cool Pavement material.
“The importance of ‘Cool Pavement’ in a school setting cannot be overstated,” Emerald Cities said in a press release. “Thermal heat radiated from asphalt remains between 1-4 feet from the surface and is a ‘danger zone’ where children play during recess.”
In addition, the Heat Island Group at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory signed an agreement last week with Emerald Cities to take its “Cool Communities” seminar nationwide, targeting mayors, municipalities and the transportation industry, among others.
Black asphalt covers 60% of city surfaces and is the largest “silent contributor” to heat, smog and carbon emissions hanging over the cities, the manufacturer says.