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Quantifying Pavement Albedo

Project Information

Project ID: 
Project Status: 
Start Date: 
Friday, August 17, 2012
End Date: 
Monday, May 16, 2016
FHWA Program: 
FHWA Subprogram: 
Asset Management
FHWA Topics: 
Environment--Climate Change
TRT Terms: 
Pavements; Infrastructure; Research; Pavement design; Materials; Measuring methods
FHWA Discipline: 
Environment, Pavement and Materials
TRB Subject Area: 
Environment, Materials, Pavements

Contact Information

First Name: 
Last Name: 
(202) 493-3154
Email Address: 
Infrastructure Analysis and Construction Team
Office of Infrastructure Research and Development
Office Code: 

Project Details

Project Description: 

Determine the effect of pavement albedo on urban heat island effect, as well as pavement design and how it changes with time for all pavement types. This will require a combination of analytical modeling, material characterization, and empirical measurements. Provide tools and guidance to apply these relationships to sustainability rating systems and pavement design.


  • Quantify the rate and magnitude of albedo change by pavement type and time.
  • Develop models to determine the relative impact of albedo on heat collection, storage, and transmission potential associated with the developed albedo rate functions by pavement type and material constituents.
  • Determine the level of significance of the pavement albedo relationships on the outcome of at least two pavement sustainability rating tools and one pavement design procedure.
  • Provide recommendations for use of the albedo rate function model on choosing appropriate pavement albedo inputs for pavement sustainability rating tools and pavement design tools.


Deliverable Name: 
Final report.
Deliverable Type: 
Research report or guidelines
Deliverable Description: 
Documentation of all research methods, efforts, findings, conclusions, recommendations, and products.
Deliverable Name: 
Analysis Utility for Albedo
Deliverable Type: 
Deliverable Description: 
A utility that contains the results of the thermodynamic model that includes relationships with albedo, materials, pavement structure, and time. This may be used in conjunction with pavement sustainability rating systems or pavement structural design tools.
Deliverable Name: 
Phase I Report.
Deliverable Type: 
Deliverable Description: 
Will synthesize previous and current relevant research efforts and provide a work plan for consideration to proceed with phase II.