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Badgirs, an ancient persian method of cooling air
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How to stay cool without heating up the planet?

2 min


Air conditioning is not the only solution


In 30 years, air conditioners will use the same amount of electricity as China currently does per day. But there are alternatives.


The world’s whitest paint

Scientists at the University of Purdue created the world’s whitest paint. Brilliantly white, it reflects 98.1% of sun rays and cools the temperature of the surfaces it covers. It can be used to cover buildings, or in cases like Los Angeles, road surfaces, which typically absorb 80-95% of the sun’s rays

Persian windcatchers

To find answers for the future, we can also look to the past. Persian windcatchers, or badgirs, are an ancient method of cooling air, used for over 3 000 years across Persia and North Africa. They are composed of vertical conduits, like large chimneys, with high vertical slits on the upper part, allowing the winds to be captured and redirected downwards into homes or underground storage rooms in order to cool down the building. Some windcatchers contain water at their base which, when evaporated, cools air temperatures by over 10°c. Others use only the wind flow, which feels cool on the skin, evaporating sweat far faster than still air.

Evaporating paving stones

Evaporating paving stones are a solution for the shimmering heat of urban areas. Water is injected under paving stones during extreme rises in heat, which evaporates through capillary systems in the surface. Not only are the stones and the air above it cooled, but entire streets. Veolia has partnered with different French cities like Toulouse to install these transformative designs, which cool ground temperatures by 10-15°C, and air temperature by up to 8°C.

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