RIYADH — The Saudi General Authority for Roads (GAR), in partnership with the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs and Housing, has started experimenting with a new cooling method to cope with the simmering summer heat. The implementation of the experiment, which is called “Cooling Asphalt Surfaces,” is on the basis of a research study.

The roads of Saudi Arabia are known to absorb surrounding temperatures that reach around 70 degrees Celsius sometimes during the daytime. The roads re-emit this heat at night, which causes a scientific phenomenon called the ‘heat island that leads to increased energy consumption and air pollution, according to a report carried by the Saudi Press Agency.

Heat islands are urbanized areas that experience higher temperatures than outlying areas. Structures such as buildings, roads, and other infrastructure absorb and re-emit the sun’s heat more than natural landscapes such as forests and water bodies.

The experiment began with the use of cold pavements, which are homemade materials that have the ability to absorb smaller amounts of solar radiation, through the ability of this material to reflect the rays, and thus the degree of its surface temperature is lower than that of traditional pavements. This material is suitable for roads surrounding residential areas.

This experiment also aims to reduce the temperature in neighborhoods and residential areas, as well as to bring down the energy used to cool buildings and reduce the effects of climate change. This technology contributes to providing a more comfortable environment in waiting areas and areas where people assemble.

It is noteworthy that GAR is working on developing research and practical experiments that contribute to improving the experience of road users, achieving the objectives of the road sector strategy, which aims to enhance the safety and sustainability of the road sector and raise the quality of the road network and the experience of its users.


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