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The City of Charles Sturt has been studying urban heat island effects in our area. We have identified that during warm weather the black road pavement (asphalt) holds a significant amount of residual heat and as a result can heat up surrounding neighbourhoods.

Charles Sturt has been looking for alternative road seal products to keep roads cooler during the warm weather. We are now looking at trialling a new and innovative road sealing product CoolSeal. CoolSeal is effectively preservation treatment in the form of a paint that is put on the road and evenly spread. It gives the road a light grey colour and cools the road.

Several streets in Hendon/Albert Park have been chosen to trial this product as it has been tested as being up to 4 degrees hotter than surrounding neighbourhoods on hot days - see Hendon Business Heatmap below.

By cooling the ambient air, lighter-coloured asphalt can also help prevent heat-related illnesses and deaths. According to the US Environment Protection Agency (USEPA), the air pollution, greenhouse gas emissions and water quality depletion driven by heat islands can be mitigated by cool pavements as well.

We are conducting a trial of streets in the Hendon Business precinct and Albert Park.

The area will cover the following streets:

  • Butler Drive, Hendon
  • Circuit Drive, Hendon
  • Philips Crescent, Hendon
  • Gordon Street, Albert Park (from Nesbit Street to Willowie Street)
  • Willowie Street
  • Tennis court in Gordon Street Reserve
  • Basketball court in Gordon Street Reserve
  • Redundant car park in Gordon Street Reserve

The trial is currently in progress from December 2018 to December 2020.

CoolSeal is a high performance, water based asphalt emulsion sealcoat, designed to achieve lower surface temperatures through its lighter colour and design to reflect the suns UV rays.

CoolSeal is applied like conventional sealcoats to asphalt surfaces, to protect and maintain the quality and longevity of the surface. Application of the sealcoat is by squeegee or spray.

Urban Heat Island

What are the driving factors?

  1. Tall buildings trap thermal energy around houses and buildings.
  2. Heat released from vehicles, electricity and biological metabolism.
  3. Air pollution within the city creates a micro-greenhouse effect.
  4. As vegetation is reduced in the city, the benefit of moisture associated with plants is diminished.
  5. Wind patterns are blocked due to the size of buildings.
  6. The materials that comprise a city (concrete, asphalt pavements, roofs, and walls) tend to absorb and hold heat.
  7. The reflectivity limitations associated with a city through construction material selections.
  8. Conventional paving materials can reach peak summertime temperatures of 48–67°C transferring excess heat to the air above.

The Effects

  • Increase energy demands & air conditioning costs
  • Increase air pollution & increase in greenhouse gases
  • Decreased human health & liveability
  • Stress on animals & plants
  • Higher surface temperatures - Smog acceleration
  • Higher stormwater temperatures

During the trial we will monitor the difference in heat experienced in the street using thermal cameras and thermometers.

This includes:

  • Air Temperature
  • Road Temperature
  • Thermal comfort (the temperature that humans feel)

We assessed the temperature of the area before CoolSeal was applied and in early 2019 after it was applied – see the CoolSeal Case Study for the results.

During the application of the treatment, there will be no adverse impact to the local community. The application process takes approximately 2 hours to complete with approximately 2 hours drying time.

During the application of the product, vehicle access to properties would be restricted for a short period of time.

Watch the video below to see how CoolSeal will work to cool down our city:

More information

Waste & Sustainability team
8408 1111