Now reading

Saint-Laurent-du-Var, France is Arming its Citizens with...

Saint-Laurent-du-Var, France is Arming its Citizens with Solar Reflectance Education

Experts at the Chamber of Trades and Artisans in Saint-Laurent-du-Var, France have introduced professionals and individuals to innovative technologies related to housing. For example, lowering the temperature of a building by 4-7 degrees Celsius without air conditioning is now possible. Faced with climate change and rising temperatures in urban areas, new construction materials have come

Aerial View of the Vallée du Var near Nice, Saint-Laurent-du-Var, France

Experts at the Chamber of Trades and Artisans in Saint-Laurent-du-Var, France have introduced professionals and individuals to innovative technologies related to housing.

For example, lowering the temperature of a building by 4-7 degrees Celsius without air conditioning is now possible. Faced with climate change and rising temperatures in urban areas, new construction materials have come to light. Cool roofs,” for example, offer an elevated level of solar reflectance, and heat is much less able to penetrate those buildings which are equipped with one. Thus, having such a roof (as shown below) is a benefit, and permits homeowners to reduce their electric energy needs.

Facing rising expectations when it comes to sustainable development, the Chamber of Trades and Artisans of the Alpes-Maritimes (based in the town of Saint-Laurent-du-Var) proposed informational sessions about intelligent building materials. These sessions lasted through April 30, 2015. Construction professionals, but also the general public, could come and discover these innovative technologies.

“We (had) artisans participating, but also engineers and architects...the idea (was) to respond to a real demand and to highlight this industry of the future,” indicated Allysson Barbaud, from the Chamber of Trades and Artisans.

Cool Roof at Idaho National Library

Talks were presented by three speakers (of which two are experts from the University of Rochelle, Charentes-Maritimes). The themes discussed related, notably, to buildings’ solar protection techniques and cooling systems.

A European Project

These sessions were part of the project MAIN (which comes from the French words for “intelligent materials”). Co-financed by the European Union, they have the goal of promoting the diffusion of these “cool” materials in Italy, Greece and Spain as well as in France.

In Saint-Laurent-du-Var, a pilot worksite was created last year. A former local institution was renovated by professionals who installed a cool roof. “These new technologies are a real alternative. What is more, the installation is very simple and offers long term benefits,” highlights Allysson Barbaud. The Chamber of Trades and Artisans regularly monitors the performance of this technology and shares the data with its partner countries.

Has your local government made efforts to promote sustainable building options? Does your city implement cool roofs or another solution for solar reflectance? Share your thoughts and your city's stories in the comments area below. 

Original article, originally published in French, here.

Credits: Image 2 by Idaho National Laboratory. Image 1 and data linked to sources.

Intern photo

Katelyn Hewett recently graduated from St. Olaf College in Minnesota with a Bachelor of Arts in English and French. During her time at St. Olaf, she enjoyed playing the French Horn in the St. Olaf Band, working as a teaching assistant for first-year...