heat island effect
9 years ago No Comments

(pronounced heet I-lehnd ih-FEHKT)

If you’ve studied for any of the LEED AP exams, you recognize this term because LEED guidelines lessen it. A “heat island” is an area of built environment that is hotter than its surrounding rural area. Populated areas full of structures and infrastructure can raise the temperature anywhere from 1.8—5.4°F more than their environs, and as the sun sets, the differential can be as great as 22°F. So what’s the “effect”” Increased energy demand due to air conditioning, which, in turn, increases facility and home utility costs, not to mention greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution. Other side effects include heat-related illness and mortality for both humans and animals, impacting migration patterns and natural eco-systems, as well as quality of life.