Friday, 16 October 2015

Why is the ground so white and bright?

With the addition of the new Bachillerato/IB building has come a new colour scheme for the walkways outside the laboratories and going down to the main gate. They say it is in keeping with the colour scheme of the new building, but is there a more environmental reason at play?

Students have said that the surface is too bright and they find it difficult to see. Students and teachers using these walkways have to squint on very sunny days making us all look a little more stressed than we would normally look.

So how is this surface having an environmental impact?

The fact that the surface is reflecting the light (hence very bright) it means that not as much light is being absorbed and converted to heat. The surface is therefore cooler meaning the air above is also cooler. This reflected light should hopefully head off into space and not affect the planet again. The previous surface was red in colour and used to absorb a lot of sunlight energy converting it to heat. This heat would be radiated as infra-red (IR) radiation that would heat the air making it warmer outside the labs. More importantly, this heat would also be trapped by greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and increase greenhouse effect and global warming which is a very serious problem we are currently facing. So is Oak House reducing global warming by painting its walkways a very light colour?

A test of the difference in the temperature of the surfaces is to check the light surface and red steps outside the labs. Come and feel the difference yourself to see!

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