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Can Green Technology Take the Heat?

Paige LaDucaPaige LaDuca presented “Can Green Technology Take the Heat?” at the 2013 Undergraduate Scholars Forum.

Paige is a senior majoring in Environmental Planning in the Geography and Regional Planning Department. In her research, mentored by Professor Calvin Masilela, Paige is exploring whether green technologies such as solar canopies more effectively reduce the urban heat island effect than do cheaper strategies like xeriscaping (native vegetation) and cool roofs. The company Paige interns for recently installed solar canopies, and she says they’ve proved useful for solar energy, reducing the urban heat island effect and sky glow.

“Certain strategies work better for certain areas of development, depending on how much impervious surface is present,” Paige said. “Essentially, the usefulness of each technology depends on how a neighborhood is set up.”

Room to grow: “Not all new technological applications have been studied, and therefore the data isn’t out there. For example, I would’ve liked to also compare the heat radiation of pervious and standard pavement types, but this hasn’t been widely studied.”

How Paige teams up with Masilela: “Professor Masilela has assisted me in multiple research projects, and encourages me to continue my work and continually add to it and revise it. With this research in particular, his advising was helpful in narrowing down my study area.”

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