Berkeley Lab's iconic building, the Advanced Light Source, is getting a new cool roof, righ, that will reflect sunlight back into the atmosphere, playing a small part in mitigating global warming. On left, Ernest Orlando Lawrence talks to colleagues at the construction site of the cyclotron, built in 1941. | Courtesy of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; Roy Kaltschmidt, Berkeley Lab Public Affairs
In Ang Lee’s 2003 movie, The Incredible Hulk rips a gamma-ray source off the ground and hurls it through the roof of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s Advanced Light Source (ALS). And every year around 2,000 scientists from around the world come to use the ALS to leverage some of the world’s brightest sources of ultraviolet and soft x-ray beams to conduct innovative research on everything from clean energy technologies and novel materials to more efficient chemical and biological processes. Now, this iconic building is getting a new, cool roof (see the slideshow).
The new shingles have a solar reflectance around 25 percent. Compare that to a traditional black asphalt shingle that has a solar reflectance of 5 percent and strongly absorbs sunlight, heating both the building and surrounding air. For a little history: while ALS, a third-generation synchrotron, is less than 20 years old, the dome dates back to 1940 when LBNL founder and namesake Ernest Orlando Lawrence decided to build an 184-inch cyclotron, an advanced version of his first which later led to his receiving the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1939.
Check out more on LBNL’s famous domed, soon-to-be cool roof here.