Hashem Akbari

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Hashem Akbari (born 13 August, 1949) is an Iranian-American professor of Building, Civil and Environmental Engineering at Concordia University. He specializes in research on the effects of urban heat islands, cool roofs, paving materials, energy efficiency, and advanced integrated energy optimization in buildings.


Akbari was born in Iran. He received his Ph.D. of Nuclear Engineering at University of California, Berkeley in 1979.[1] He became a U.S. citizen in 1991.[2] In 2009, he joined the Concordia University, where he founded a comprehensive laboratory to measure solar spectral reflectance and thermal emittance of common construction materials. Prior to joining the Concordia University, he was a senior scientist and the leader of the Heat Island Group at Environmental Energy Technologies Division of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) at the University of California (from 1983 to 2009). In 1985, he founded the Urban Heat Island (UHI) group, where he worked in the areas of heat-island quantification, mitigation and novel techniques in the analysis of energy use in buildings and industry in the United States and abroad.


Akbari conducted ground-breaking research on the potential for cool roofing and paving materials to reduce the urban heat islands effect.[3] His proposed work in adapting cool roofs as a "prescriptive" requirement for low-slope non-residential buildings in California.[4] In 2003, his proposal was approved by the California Energy Commission, and it went into effect later in October 2005. He provided basis and assistance for the development of cool roofs standards in Florida, Chicago, Georgia, and Atlanta.

His research has quantified the effect of cool roofs (increasing surface albedo) on cooling the globe.[5][6][7][8][9][10][11][12][13][14][15] As a result of his research, the heat-island mitigation program has been expanding in other countries; for example, the city of Osaka, Japan has recently instituted a $1.7 B (170 B Yen) program of cool roofs, green roofs, and urban trees.[16]

Akbari's contribution to the development of several international standards are:

  • ASTM standard E1918 (Standard Test Method for Measuring Solar Reflectance of Small Horizontal and Low-Sloped Surfaces in the Field)
  • ASTM standard E1980 (Standard Practice for Calculating Solar Reflectance Index of Horizontal and Low-Sloped Opaque Surfaces)
  • ASTM task group to develop a standard for accelerated aging of roofing materials (ASTM D7897 – 15: Standard Practice for Laboratory Soiling and Weathering of Roofing Materials to Simulate Effects of Natural Exposure on Solar Reflectance and Thermal Emittance)
  • ASTM standards for solar reflectance and thermal emittance measurements
  • ASHRAE Standards Committees of Standard 90.1: New commercial buildings
  • ASHRAE Standard 90.2: New residential buildings, and updated the standards to offer credits for roofs with high solar reflectance[17][18]
  • A contributing member to ASHRAE Technical Committees: TC 1.4 (Control Theory and Application), TC 1.5 (Computer Applications), TC 4.7 (Energy Calculations), TC 7.1 (Integrated Building Design), TC 7.5 (Smart Building Systems), and TC 7.6 (Building Energy Performance)

In addition to the standards development, Akbari was the author of Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (2007 Nobel Peace Prize). He also contributed in writing of two chapters for ASHRAE Application Handbook: (1) Building Energy Monitoring and (2) Energy Use and Management.[19][20] He published a guidebook for urban heat island mitigation.[21]

Akbari is one of the founding organizers of the Global Cool Cities Alliance (vice Chairman of the Board, Technical committee chair), the Cool Roof Rating Council (CRRC) (Ex-Officio Board Member, International Committee Chair), and the European Cool Roof Council (ECPR) (Ex-Officio Board Member).


  1. ^ Akabari, Hashem (June 1979). Optimal size and location of nuclear power plants in energy parks (PhD thesis). Univ. of California, Berkeley.
  2. ^ California, Federal Naturalization Records, 1843-1999
  3. ^ Akbari H. Advances in developing standards for accelerated aging of cool roofing materials. Roof coatings manufacturers association international roof coatings conference, Baltimore, Maryland, USA, July 14–17, 2014.
  4. ^ Levinson R, Akbari H, Konopacki S, et al. Inclusion of cool roofs in nonresidential Title 24 prescriptive requirements[J]. Energy Policy, 2005, 33(2): 151-170.
  5. ^ Synnefa, A., M. Santamouris, and H. Akbari, "Estimating the effect of using cool coatings on energy loads and thermal comfort in residential buildings in various climatic conditions," Energy and Buildings, 2007, 39(11): 1167–1174.
  6. ^ Levinson, R. P. Berdahl, H. Akbari, W. Miller, I. Joedicke, J. Reilly, Y. Suzuki, M. Vondran, "Methods of creating solar-reflective nonwhite surfaces and their application to residential roofing materials," Solar Energy Materials & Solar Cells, 91, 304–314, 2007.
  7. ^ Levinson, R., P. Berdahl and H. Akbari, "Solar spectral optical properties of pigments, Part I: Model for deriving scattering and absorption coefficients from transmittance and reflectance measurements," Solar Energy Materials & Solar Cells, 89(4): 319-349, 2005.
  8. ^ Akbari, H., M. Pomerantz, and H. Taha, "Cool surfaces and shade trees to reduce energy use and improve air quality in urban areas," Solar Energy, 70(3): 295-310, 2001.
  9. ^ Akbari, H., S. Konopacki, and M. Pomerantz, "Cooling energy savings potential of reflective roofs for residential and commercial buildings in the United States," Energy, 24: 391-407, 1999.
  10. ^ Bretz, S., H. Akbari, and A. Rosenfeld, "Practical Issues for Using Solar-Reflective Materials to Mitigate Urban Heat Islands," Atmospheric Environment, 32(1): 95-101, 1998.
  11. ^ Bretz, S. and H. Akbari, "Long-term Performance of High-Albedo Roof Coatings for Energy Efficient Buildings," Energy and Buildings – Special Issue on Urban Heat Islands and Cool Communities, 25(2): 159-167, 1997.
  12. ^ Taha, H., and H. Akbari, "Urban Climates and Heat Islands: Albedo, Evapotranspiration, and Anthropogenic Heat," Energy and Buildings – Special Issue on Urban Heat Islands and Cool Communities, 25(2): 99-103, 1997.
  13. ^ Rosenfeld, A., H. Akbari, S. Bretz, B. L. Fishman, D. M. Kurn, D. Sailor, H. Taha, "Mitigation of urban heat islands: materials, utility programs, updates," Energy and Buildings, 22: 255-265, 1995.
  14. ^ Akbari, H., S. Bretz, H. Taha, D. Kurn, and J. Hanford, "Peak Power and Cooling Energy Savings of High-albedo Roofs," Energy and Buildings – Special Issue on Urban Heat Islands and Cool Communities, 25(2): 117-126, 1997.
  15. ^ Akbari, H. and H. Taha, "The Impact of Trees and White Surfaces on Residential Heating and Cooling Energy Use in Four Canadian Cities." Energy, 17(2): 141-149, 1991; Akbari, H., A. Rosenfeld, and H. Taha, "Summer Heat Islands, Urban Trees, and White Surfaces," ASHRAE Transactions, 96(1), 1990.
  16. ^ "Background: Hashem Akbari - 2004 World Technology Awards Winners & Finalists". www.wtn.net. The World Technology Network. Archived from the original on 2019-05-27. Retrieved 2019-05-27.
  17. ^ Akbari H, Konopacki S, Parker D, et al. Updates on revision to ASHRAE Standard 90.2: Including roof reflectivity for residential buildings[J]. American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy. ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings. Pacific Grove, CA, 2000.
  18. ^ ASHRAE A S. Standard 90.1-2004, Energy standard for buildings except low rise residential buildings[J]. American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, Inc, 2004.
  19. ^ Akbari, H., Konopacki, S.J., Lister, L.D., DeBaillie, L.P. Energy End-Use Characterisation at Fort Hood, Texas. ASHRAE / 1996.
  20. ^ Konopacki, S.J., Akbari, H., Lister, L.D. et al. Electrical Energy and Cost Savings Potential at DOD Facilities. ASHRAE / 1996.
  21. ^ Akbari, H., S. Davis, S. Dosano, J. Huang, and S. Winnett, (eds), Cooling Our Communities: A Guidebook on Tree Planting and Light-colored Surfacing, 1992, United States Environmental Protection, Agency, Washington, D.C. Also Report No. LBL-31587, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA.

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