Are “Smart Surface Solutions” The Next Concrete Trend?

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The clean energy advisory and venture capital firm Capital E recently released a cost-benefit analysis of smart surface solutions for a handful of U.S. cities. The analysis and prognosis for smart surfaces are excellent, so keep an eye out for smart surface developments in the industry.

What are smart surfaces?

Smart surfaces are designed to offset the negative effects of sunlight and rain, particularly in urban areas, where solar heat is absorbed into the pavement and trapped at street level causing urban heat islands

Asphalt and concrete are generally impervious surfaces contributing to urban runoff and flooding after storms. Smart surface (or sustainable surface) solutions include pervious concrete and rain gardens that allow rainwater to filter into the ground rather than rushing across the surface. Other smart surface solutions include green roofs, solar panels, permeable and reflective pavement.

There are many advantages to smart surface strategies, including health, safety, and comfort. These strategies are projected to expand jobs, slow global warming, and help cities realize billions of dollars in net financial benefits.

Resilient design

Resilient design is another industry-standard set to swell in the coming years. Particularly in light of the increasing number and severity of natural disasters, The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC), a leader in the construction industry, is prepared to adopt a Resilient-Design Standard for Buildings and Neighborhoods (RELi).  

According to USGBC President and CEO Mahesh Ramanujam, reported in a recent press release

The increasing frequency of dramatic events has brought an even greater urgency to create buildings and communities that are better adapted to a changing climate and better able to bounce back from disturbances and interruptions.

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