cool walls

USGBC Adds LEED Pilot Credit for Cool Walls

  May 26, 2021

By Dan Hounsell

The COVID-19 pandemic no doubt has influenced the short-term priority list for institutional and commercial facilities, but sustainability undoubtedly remains a top long-term goal for most managers. Now the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) has given managers another sustainability goal to consider.

Sunlight-reflecting cool walls have been shown to reduce energy costs by lowering heat gain in buildings. Reflective walls also can fight the urban heat island effect. The concept recently gained support from the USGBC, which issued a pilot credit for the installation of cool exterior walls in schools and commercial buildings to mitigate urban heat islands. The pilot credit is a test integration for cool walls into the USGBC’s LEED ratings for buildings. Research found that reflective walls could lower urban air temperature much like reflective cool roofs.

The pilot credit means buildings that satisfy specific cool wall requirements will earn an innovation point in LEED.

Dan Hounsell is Senior Editor, Facility Market.



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