Global KAITEKI Center Launch at ASU

The Global KAITEKI Center at ASU will hold a special launch event Thursday, October 24, 2019. This Center represents a landmark partnership between Mitsubishi Chemical Holding Corporation (MCHC), its think-tank the KAITEKI Institute (TKI), and ASU. TKI focuses on the “sustainable well-being of people, society and our plant Earth”. It is an original concept of MCHC that proposes a sustainable path forward, serving as a guide for solving environmental and social issues. For more background on the Center see the initial announcement.

One thrust within the Center focuses on urban cooling. Charles L. Redman (School of Sustainability) leads the Design, Development, and Testing of Innovative Materials for Urban Cooling Project. Team members include: Matthew Fraser (School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment), David Sailor (School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning), and Kamil Kaloush (School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment).

Considering the anticipated warming of the world’s cities and the associated impacts on health and well-being, the Urban Cooling project will contribute significantly to sustainable urban development by focusing on the important role of urban infrastructure on urban heat; in Phoenix, more than 50% of the urban surface area is urban infrastructure (building rooftops 18%; roads, 14%; sidewalks, 3%; parking areas, 15%. The purpose of this collaboration is to advance mitigation of urban heat along three related threads: (1) Modeling impact of alternative roof surface coatings and paving technologies; (2) Development of novel asphalt pavement binders to integrate improved thermal and reflective properties; and (3) Field demonstration of mitigation approaches.

Dr. Kamil Kaloush and Dr. David Sailor lead two major directions of this project. While Dr. Kaloush will investigate the use of alternate materials for roadways and pavements, Dr. Sailor will use modeling techniques to explore new building materials as options to mitigate heat.

Specifically, Kaloush and his team will investigate the use of silica gel, trimethylsilylated (aerogel) and /or phase changing materials (PCMs) in asphalt binder modifications. The use of PCMs in asphalt binders and/or mixtures is promising and expected to mitigate problems related to rutting and thermal cracking.

Sailor and his group will analyze the role of building construction materials including passive daytime radiative cooling (PDRC) roofing materials for improving urban thermal environments and reducing building energy consumption. This study will integrate models from building to city scales, to quantify effects and develop an assessment of the market by exploring tradeoffs between desired cooling in summer and less desirable cooling in winter.

Over the 3-year project period, the work of these teams will be integrated and incorporated into a comprehensive analysis of how the combination of innovations in building and paving materials may be able to cool global hot climate cities.

UCRC Student to Represent ASU at COP-25

ASU has released the names of its delegation to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The delegation includes nine students–5 from the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, 3 from the School of Sustainability (SOS), and 1 from the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning (SGSUP).  The UCRC is proud to announce that Ph.D. candidate, Peter Crank will be representing SGSUP as part of this delegation. This group will be attending the Council of Parties (COP) meeting in Santiago, Chile, December 2-13, 2019.

Peter will be participating in the first week of activities, with the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice. When asked what his goal was for the meeting, Peter replied, “to provide insights into urban climate mitigation and adaptation strategies that can shape the advice coming from the scientific and technological communities.” This subcommittee serves as a key liaison to the policymakers that define the larger conference’s aim and scope.

The Conference of the Parties (COP) is The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) providing an international response to climate change. COP is a yearly conference from which the 1998 Kyoto Protocol and the 2016 Paris Climate Agreement were developed.

This is a tremendous opportunity for these ASU students to have an active role in today’s decision making global policies. Peter wanted readers to know that he Is “humbled, honored, and thrilled to be appointed as a delegate from the university and is looking forward to the opportunity to engage in a process that has been defining global politics on climate change for the past 25 years.”