By Tim Lacey, Dow Building and Construction
Commuters nationwide spent more than eight billion hours stuck in traffic – or 50 hours per driver – in 2015. Today, through programs like the White House Smart City Challenge, cities are working with technology providers to measure and analyze the cause and solution of traffic congestion, but often overlook a core component.
By using better construction materials, cities can bolster tech-driven efforts to reduce traffic snarls.
Let’s look at street light fixtures. By selecting LED solutions that use advanced silicone materials to seal the fixture, cities won’t need to spend as much time maintaining the lights – and interrupting traffic. Silicone-based advanced fixture sealants protect, adhere and shape light in ways that allow the fixture to function better, longer. Sealants developed by advanced materials scientists protect against outside stressors, such as weather and debris, while not compromising light performance.
Now let’s examine buildings. Cities applying the latest advancements in building enclosure techniques can complete building projects faster, which reduces construction-related road closures and, importantly, provides a faster return of road use for drivers. By consolidating the building enclosure layers into a three-in-one system during construction, building owners gain an energy efficient, moisture-resistant enclosure constructed much quicker than traditional building enclosures.
On roads, a bright and visible road stripe is essential to driver speed and safety. Innovative solutions in coating materials offers high-quality, durable, fast-drying road paint allowing for cities to spend less time blocking roadways for maintenance and a speedy, safe return for commuters after painting projects are complete.
The direct and indirect applications of advanced solutions allow for cities to solve existing problems like commuter traffic snarls. When these solutions are paired with sensors and software, there is a higher return to service for cities to reach solutions faster.
Tim Lacey is global business director for Dow Building and Construction at the Dow Chemical Company, a member of the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index