Crystal City’s biggest property owner is now testing out a new pavement sealant in a bid to bring down temperatures and reduce the “heat island” effect increasingly plaguing urban areas.
JBG Smith just sealed a pair of its parking lots in Crystal City, in front of an office building at 241 18th Street S., with a new product dubbed “CoolSeal,” which is designed to bring down temperatures on the asphalt by as much as 10 degrees during even the sunniest months of summer.
The reflective pavement treatment is gaining popularity in the Southwest as a way to reduce the amount of heat bouncing off of wide swaths of pavement, though JBG officials believe this is the first time any company has tested out this particular asphalt coating on the East Coast. The company plans to study the impact of the treatment on the roughly 18,000 square feet of pavement over the next year or so, and could someday starting using at its bevy of properties across the D.C. region.
“One of the benefits of being a larger property owner with a diverse portfolio is the ability to try new things,” Brian Coulter, JBG Smith’s chief development officer, told ARLnow. “We think a lot about, ‘How do we improve the built environment and the experience of people on the ground?’ And this could really make a difference in that respect.”
Coulter says he’d never heard of CoolSeal until reading about it in a landscaping magazine a few weeks back, and the product instantly struck him as a good fit for his company.
Researchers have increasingly found that D.C. has some of the most intense urban heat islands in the country, with the high concentrations of parking lots and buildings driving up temperatures in more developed neighborhoods when summer rolls around. Coulter says he never saw the heat in Crystal City as especially problematic, but because the company owns so much property in the neighborhood, he felt it was a natural spot to test out CoolSeal on as large a space as possible.
“It’s a big enough area where you’re not just dealing with a couple parking spaces,” Coulter said. “It just felt like a continuation of some of the other experiments and interventions we’ve done there before, particularly around public art.”
JBG ended up using about 550 gallons of the coating, with workers applying it to the parking lots over the course of the first two weekends in October. The company estimates the effort cost about $50,000, in all.
Yet Coulter believes the experiment could end up being well worth the expense if it works as intended. He says the company plans to measure the sealant’s impact on the temperature on the parking lots, and the surrounding area, through the end of next summer to see how it works in practice.
Should it have a notable impact, Coulter expects JBG could use CoolSeal all throughout its properties in both Crystal City and Pentagon City, as part of the developer’s continuing efforts to link the neighborhoods together. The company has all manner of new projects underway in Crystal City, fueling Amazon HQ2 speculation with its dominance in the area, and is also backing the major PenPlace development in Pentagon City.
“We see those two areas as part of the broader neighborhood, and one way to better establish that is with the pedestrian experience,” Coulter said. “If this is done well, it will work well for the people who visit and the people who live there.”
He doesn’t think CoolSeal needs to be limited to just parking lots, either. He envisions everywhere from basketball courts to bike trails to the roofs of tall buildings being ripe for the heat-reducing treatment, and that goes for all of JBG’s properties around the D.C. area.
“We’re really excited about the possibility and potential of this,” Coulter said. “Because, clearly, if this has the type of impact we’re looking for, it really does fit in nicely with everything we’re trying to do.”
New Leader of Leadership Center — “Leadership Center for Excellence (LCE) announces the addition of Karen Coltrane as its President & CEO… With 27 years of nonprofit work in her professional career, Coltrane most recently served as the President & CEO of EdVenture Children’s Museum in Columbia, South Carolina.” [Leadership Center for Excellence, The State]
VRE to Review Community Feedback on Station — “Virginia Railway Express officials will spend coming weeks sifting through public comments on plans to upgrade station facilities at Crystal City. July 1 was the deadline for comments on the proposal to relocate and expand VRE facilities in Crystal City, which is the destination of about 18 percent of riders coming in from the west and south.” [InsideNova]
Another Hot Day — Heat index values today are expected to again climb above 100 degrees, though a cold front should cool things off on Friday. There is a slight chance of rain and storms today. [Twitter]
Flickr pool photo by Erinn Shirley
Arlington County, D.C. and other surrounding areas are now under an Excessive Heat Warning.
Heat index values are expected to exceed 110 degrees this afternoon, according to the National Weather Service, elevating the risk of heat-related illness — though the temperatures could be moderated in part by pop-up showers.
Two small rain cells over DC. That's it for now… pic.twitter.com/HqaCTyvRkA
— Amelia Draper (@amelia_draper) July 3, 2018
More on the Excessive Heat Warning from NWS:
…EXCESSIVE HEAT WARNING IN EFFECT UNTIL 8 PM EDT THIS EVENING… THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON HAS ISSUED AN EXCESSIVE HEAT WARNING, WHICH IS IN EFFECT UNTIL 8 PM EDT THIS EVENING. THE HEAT ADVISORY IS NO LONGER IN EFFECT. * HEAT INDEX VALUES…AROUND 110 DEGREES DUE TO TEMPERATURES IN THE MID 90S, AND DEWPOINTS IN THE MID TO UPPER 70S. * IMPACTS…THE HEAT AND HUMIDITY MAY CAUSE HEAT STRESS DURING OUTDOOR EXERTION OR EXTENDED EXPOSURE. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… AN EXCESSIVE HEAT WARNING MEANS THAT A PROLONGED PERIOD OF DANGEROUSLY HIGH TEMPERATURES WILL OCCUR. THE COMBINATION OF EXTREME TEMPERATURES AND HIGH HUMIDITY WILL CREATE A DANGEROUS SITUATION IN WHICH HEAT ILLNESSES ARE EXPECTED. CHECK IN ON RELATIVES AND NEIGHBORS. TAKE EXTRA PRECAUTIONS IF YOU WORK OR SPEND TIME OUTSIDE. WHEN POSSIBLE, RESCHEDULE STRENUOUS ACTIVITIES TO EARLY MORNING OR EVENING. KNOW THE SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF HEAT EXHAUSTION AND HEAT STROKE. WEAR LIGHT WEIGHT AND LOOSE FITTING CLOTHING WHEN POSSIBLE AND DRINK PLENTY OF WATER. TO REDUCE RISK DURING OUTDOOR WORK, THE OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH ADMINISTRATION RECOMMENDS SCHEDULING FREQUENT REST BREAKS IN SHADED OR AIR CONDITIONED ENVIRONMENTS. ANYONE OVERCOME BY HEAT SHOULD BE MOVED TO A COOL AND SHADED LOCATION. HEAT STROKE IS AN EMERGENCY – CALL 911. &&
“Why is the door open, are we trying to air condition the whole neighborhood?”
That must be what some retail employees in Clarendon are be thinking this week. Amid a scorching heat wave, many stores are still keeping their doors propped open.
— Isabel Harrison (@isabelvharrison) July 1, 2018
What is otherwise a solid strategy for getting passersby to come inside becomes absurd when the temperature reaches well above the 90s.
This is nothing new — it’s been happening for years. But even the Arlington Dept. of Environmental Services is now making fun of it via social media.
— Arlington DES (@ArlingtonDES) June 19, 2018
— Arlington DES (@ArlingtonDES) July 2, 2018
Not everybody hates the open doors, however. A certain employee of this publication, who will go unnamed, acknowledged that the open doors are probably a bit wasteful, but argued that the cool breeze feels nice when walking by.
What do you think?
Another Heat Advisory Today — “Heat Advisory again for… Tuesday from noon to 8 p.m. due to the continuous heat. Remember to stay hydrated, limit strenuous outdoor activities, and wear lightweight, light-colored, loose-fitting clothing.” [Twitter]
New School Board Chair — At its meeting last night, the Arlington School Board elected Reid Goldstein as chair and Tannia Talento as vice chair for the 2018-2019. [Twitter]
State Department Employee Guilty of Child Porn Production — An Alexandria man who worked for the U.S. State Department in Arlington has pleaded guilty to “producing child pornography, in part by using his work-issued cellphone.” Skydance MacMahon “worked with a woman in Canada to shoot explicit photos and videos of five children inside her home, federal prosecutors say.” [NBC Washington]
Vets Hiking to Arlington National Cemetery — Despite blistering heat, two veterans are hiking 150 miles from the gravesite of legendary Marine Chesty Puller, in Middlesex County, Virginia, to the gravesite of decorated World War II soldier Audie Murphy at Arlington National Cemetery. [WUSA 9]
Arlington Remembers World War I — “Veterans of six U.S. military conflicts were on hand June 28 as the Arlington Historical Society paid homage to county residents who fought, and died, in what was termed – ultimately incorrectly – the war to end all wars.” [InsideNova]
HEAT ADVISORY issued for Sunday. Significant heat may continue through at least Monday. Take appropriate precautions to avoid any heat related illnesses. pic.twitter.com/pwWnKv0RoK
— NWS DC/Baltimore (@NWS_BaltWash) June 30, 2018
The National Weather Service has issued a Heat Advisory for Arlington and the D.C. area on Sunday.
Forecasters are warning of dangerously sweltering weather and encouraging residents to stay cool and hydrated.
More from NWS:
…HEAT ADVISORY IN EFFECT FROM NOON TO 8 PM EDT SUNDAY… THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON HAS ISSUED A HEAT ADVISORY, WHICH IS IN EFFECT FROM NOON TO 8 PM EDT SUNDAY. * HEAT INDEX VALUES…AROUND 105 DEGREES DUE TO TEMPERATURES IN THE MID TO UPPER 90S AND AND DEWPOINTS NEAR 70. * IMPACTS…THE HEAT AND HUMIDITY MAY CAUSE HEAT STRESS DURING OUTDOOR EXERTION OR EXTENDED EXPOSURE. * ADDITIONAL INFORMATION…HEAT HEADLINES MAY NEED TO BE EXTENDED THROUGH MONDAY. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… A HEAT ADVISORY MEANS THAT A PERIOD OF HIGH TEMPERATURES IS EXPECTED. THE COMBINATION OF HIGH TEMPERATURES AND HIGH HUMIDITY WILL CREATE A SITUATION IN WHICH HEAT ILLNESSES ARE POSSIBLE. TAKE EXTRA PRECAUTIONS IF YOU WORK OR SPEND TIME OUTSIDE. WHEN POSSIBLE, RESCHEDULE STRENUOUS ACTIVITIES TO EARLY MORNING OR EVENING. KNOW THE SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF HEAT EXHAUSTION AND HEAT STROKE. WEAR LIGHT WEIGHT AND LOOSE FITTING CLOTHING WHEN POSSIBLE AND DRINK PLENTY OF WATER. TO REDUCE RISK DURING OUTDOOR WORK, THE OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH ADMINISTRATION RECOMMENDS SCHEDULING FREQUENT REST BREAKS IN SHADED OR AIR CONDITIONED ENVIRONMENTS. ANYONE OVERCOME BY HEAT SHOULD BE MOVED TO A COOL AND SHADED LOCATION. HEAT STROKE IS AN EMERGENCY – CALL 911. &&
An Air Quality Alert has also been issued:
…AIR QUALITY ALERT IS IN EFFECT FOR SUNDAY JULY 1 2018…
The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments in association with Maryland Department of the Environment, Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, and District Department of Environment has issued a Code ORANGE Air Quality Alert Sunday for the DC metro area.
A Code Orange Air Quality Alert means that air pollution concentrations within the region may become unhealthy for sensitive groups. Sensitive groups include children, people suffering from asthma, heart disease or other lung diseases and the elderly. The effects of air pollution can be minimized by avoiding strenuous activity or exercise outdoors.
For more information on ground-level ozone and fine particles… visit www.cleanairpartners.net.
The penultimate day of class for Kenmore Middle School students ended early due to air conditioning problems.
Kenmore was dismissed early after the A/C went out, a school spokesman confirmed to ARLnow.com. A parent said the HVAC issue, which happened on the hottest day of the year so far, forced “parents, students, teachers, staff and superintendent Murphy [to] swelter through 8th grade promotion ceremony” this morning.
The heat did not appear to dampen the spirits of those participating in the ceremony, however.
This morning I had the honor of being the 8th Grade Promotion speaker. Congratulations Kenmore Cougars! Now, go and be great! Kenmore Forever❤️@KMSEurith @APSKenmore @SuptPKM @APSVirginia @APSTeachLearn @APS_SpecEduc pic.twitter.com/JtcYL9UhqE
— KMSLifeSkills (@KMSEurith) June 18, 2018
The school sent the following email to parents about the early dismissal.
As many of you experienced this morning during eighth grade promotion, our HVAC system is not working. We are currently working on fixing the system, but in the meantime, the temperature in the building has continued to rise. Given the extreme heat expected this afternoon, we have decided to cancel school for the remainder of the day.
Students will be dismissed from school at 11:45 AM. Transportation will be provided buses to students. Students will also have lunch prior to leaving for the day.
The check-in program will still be open.
Thank you for your patience with this issue.
Photo (top) via Arlington Public Schools
Arlington County and much of the D.C. area is under a Heat Advisory today.
Forecasters warn that the sweltering temperatures outside are dangerous and outdoor activities should be avoided.
In north Arlington, the heat index was 101 degrees as of 3 p.m. Tomorrow (Tuesday) is also expected to be hot and humid, with the heat index near 100.
More from the National Weather Service.
…HEAT ADVISORY IN EFFECT UNTIL 8 PM EDT THIS EVENING… THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN BALTIMORE MD/WASHINGTON HAS ISSUED A HEAT ADVISORY, WHICH IS IN EFFECT UNTIL 8 PM EDT THIS EVENING. * HEAT INDEX VALUES…UP TO 105 DUE TO TEMPERATURES IN THE MIDDLE 90S AND DEWPOINTS IN THE LOWER TO MIDDLE 70S. * IMPACTS…THE HEAT AND HUMIDITY MAY CAUSE HEAT STRESS DURING OUTDOOR EXERTION OR EXTENDED EXPOSURE. PRECAUTIONARY/PREPAREDNESS ACTIONS… A HEAT ADVISORY MEANS THAT A PERIOD OF HIGH TEMPERATURES IS EXPECTED. THE COMBINATION OF HIGH TEMPERATURES AND HIGH HUMIDITY WILL CREATE A SITUATION IN WHICH HEAT ILLNESSES ARE POSSIBLE. TAKE EXTRA PRECAUTIONS IF YOU WORK OR SPEND TIME OUTSIDE. WHEN POSSIBLE, RESCHEDULE STRENUOUS ACTIVITIES TO EARLY MORNING OR EVENING. KNOW THE SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF HEAT EXHAUSTION AND HEAT STROKE. WEAR LIGHT WEIGHT AND LOOSE FITTING CLOTHING WHEN POSSIBLE AND DRINK PLENTY OF WATER. TO REDUCE RISK DURING OUTDOOR WORK, THE OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH ADMINISTRATION RECOMMENDS SCHEDULING FREQUENT REST BREAKS IN SHADED OR AIR CONDITIONED ENVIRONMENTS. ANYONE OVERCOME BY HEAT SHOULD BE MOVED TO A COOL AND SHADED LOCATION. HEAT STROKE IS AN EMERGENCY – CALL 911. &&
Hot Day Ahead — Anyone spending time outdoors today should hydrate frequently and take proper precautions. The heat index is expected to climb into the 90s or even the low 100s. An air quality alert is also in effect. [Twitter, Twitter, National Weather Service]
Energy Rebate Program Ending — Arlington’s energy rebate program, which provides rebates to homeowners who add high-efficiency HVAC or water heaters, or who perform other energy-saving work, is ending due to county budget cuts. The last day to apply is today, June 18. [Twitter, EcoAction Arlington]
Rosslyn Bus Tunnel to Open — “A long-delayed bus tunnel in Rosslyn that is expected to help ease traffic in the area and significantly speed up bus trips has now been turned over to Metro, and should formally open within weeks. Metrobus and Arlington’s ART routes are expected to begin using the street-level tunnel June 24 through a glitzy new building between N. Moore Street and N. Lynn Street.” [WTOP]
GOP Beyer Challenger Courts LGBT Voters — “Thomas Oh, the Republican candidate embarked on an uphill quest to unseat U.S. Rep. Don Beyer (D-8th), is reaching out to a constituency often left untapped by local Republican candidate. ‘I proudly support the LGBT community. I firmly believe in providing equality for every American,’ Oh said as he marched with the Capital Area Young Republicans in the recent Capital Pride Parade in the District of Columbia.” [InsideNova]
County Board Approves DARPA Changes — “Citing its desire to retain DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency headquartered in Ballston, the Arlington County Board today unanimously approved adding 1,265 square feet to its building for a secure screening and visitor check-in facility.” [Arlington County]
Graduations at Arlington High Schools — Wakefield, Washington-Lee and Yorktown high schools help their respective graduation ceremonies last week. Said Wakefield’s class president: “Just because this chapter of our lives is closing, we will prevail and go on to do great. The thing is, don’t think of this as a ‘goodbye,’ but a ‘see you later.'” [InsideNova, InsideNova, InsideNova]
Photo courtesy @TheLastFC
Record Warm Temperatures — Yesterday’s high temperature of 82 degrees was the hottest it has ever been this early in the year. Records were set at all three D.C. area airports. [Twitter, Capital Weather Gang]
Fatal Fall in Clarendon — The man who fell from the roof of a building in Clarendon last week died, police confirmed Wednesday. “The subject was transported to the hospital by Arlington County Fire Department medics where he was later pronounced deceased,” said Arlington County Police spokeswoman Ashley Savage. “The police department is conducting an active death investigation and nothing in the investigation has lead us to categorize the death as suspicious.” [Twitter]
Vihstadt Expands Bipartisan Support — Former Arlington School Board member Sally Baird is the latest Democrat to endorse County Board member John Vihstadt in his reelection campaign. “We both know that maintaining top quality public schools is essential to Arlington’s future, and I’m honored to have her support,” Vihstadt said in a statement.
Photo courtesy James Mahony
Race organizers shortened the course mid-way through the race, citing safety concerns amid unusually warm and humid conditions for an October day, WJLA reported. Sunday was “Washington’s sultriest October day ever recorded,” according to the Capital Weather Gang.
ACFD evaluated or treated a total of 145 patients and transported 34 to local hospitals, mostly due to heat-related incidents, Capt. Ben O’Bryant told ARLnow.com.
The fire department had staged two medic units on scene, with utility vehicles to transport stricken runners from the course, but called in an additional six ambulances around 9:30 a.m., O’Bryant said. The ambulance bus was called in shortly thereafter.
O’Bryant described the response as a “strike force” response, one level below a mass-casualty incident. All of the sirens were enough to attract the attention of Crystal City residents, one of whom took to Twitter to ask about it.
We are responding to medical emergencies around the Army 10 Miler as well as other emergencies in the area.
— Arlington Fire (@ArlingtonVaFD) October 8, 2017
During the incident five ambulances from Fairfax, Alexandria and Reagan National Airport filled in as mutual aid at Arlington fire stations, said O’Bryant.
Last year, during much cooler weather, ACFD only transported five Army Ten Miler runners to Virginia Hospital Center, he said.
Photo via John Sonderman/Flickr. Hat tip to Jim H.