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Reflective Pavement May Heat Nearby Buildings

Aired 11/12/12 on KPBS News.

A San Diego researcher says reflective pavement may have an unexpected and unwanted side effect.

— Light reflective pavements may be good at keeping heat from soaking into a city's landscape, but they may also have an unwanted impacts on nearby buildings.

It works, but UC San Diego researcher Jan Kleissl said the so-called cooler pavement also has an unintended impact.

"There are many areas where these pavements are useful. But in some places, especially near office buildings with lots of windows, especially if they are older windows, then it may not be a good choice to put the pavements there," said Kleissl.

That's because the pavement reflects heat onto the buildings and that pumps up air conditioning bills so the structures will stay cool.

Kleissl says modern buildings with energy-friendly designs can handle the extra heat.

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