In the recent year, construction companies in the Philippines have handled projects geared towards industrializing more suburban and provincial locations. This isn’t to say that, at the impetus of commercial moguls like SM, Ayala, and Robinson’s building malls, the surrounding area transforms into commercial sites that cater to other medium- to big-businesses. This is domestically a good indication in so much as more jobs are generated, there is better distribution of good, and basic & luxury items are made more available to a wider range of people. Environmentally however, these areas tend to affect the temperature of their surroundings.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) details that the high density cities that have a population of 1 million, give or take, are 1-3°C warmer than their rural counterparts in the morning and as much as 12°C hotter in during the night. This phenomenon is called “heat island” effect.
The increase in temperature affects communities by increasing energy demand through air conditioning and ventilating costs. Health wise, it also increases the risk of heat related injuries, sicknesses, and death.
Just very recently, Los Angeles, California has started painting their asphalt roads a lighter color because it will help mitigate the heat islands. Construction companies in the Philippines can also start to adapt to this phenomenon not only by using lighter colored paint but also through passive cooling roofing.
A study from Universiti Sains Malaysia determined that 70% of total heat gained in tropical housing comes from roofing. The study spans most South East Asian countries so that includes the Philippines. In optimizing a home’s passive cooling potential, the study points out 3 things: 1) the effect of passive cooling should happen inside a building, 2) heat gain should be modulate to also admit sufficient sunlight, and 3) heat within the building should be modulated through proper air infiltration channels.
It was found out that rooking with reflective properties extinguish the most heat, with white being the best color that reduces heat absorbency.
Hopefully, in our bid towards becoming a more progressive country through expanding big business commercialism to more rural areas, our architects, engineers, and construction companies here in the Philippines also consider the effects of something as seemingly insignificant as color when it comes to how projects affect communities and the environment.