A California Toolkit for Heat Resilience in Underserved Environments
Heat is increasingly brutal in California’s Central Valley, where low incomes, poor air quality, old homes, and high utility bills disadvantage many residents. The good news is that we can act now on preventative strategies to mitigate heat health impacts. The multi-disciplinary Cal-THRIVES project has developed a cooling toolkit for local and state stakeholders below with the following objectives:
- Increase awareness of heat-related vulnerability
- Identify areas that are vulnerable to extreme heat events
- Remedy the built environment, such as building retrofits & increases to tree canopy
- Enhance community and home cooling programs
- Improve social capital and connectivity at the neighborhood level
One-page and pocket community guides detailing tips for staying cool in the heat are available for download in English and Spanish.
"Tips to Stay Cool in the Heat" Community Guide
Community Cooling Pocket Guide
The toolkit offers a collection of fact sheets about passive and active cooling measures, ideal for use with more specialized audiences like DIY-enthusiasts, NGOs and program administrators.
Cooling Topic Fact Sheets
For extreme heat resilience program developers, engineers, and researchers, software tools are available to assist with neighborhood-scale building modeling.
CityBES is an open tool for neighborhood- to urban-scale building modeling, which can model energy savings for one building or a group of buildings. Both passive and active indoor measures are modeled.
Heat Vulnerability Index (HVI)
A Heat Vulnerability Index (HVI) modeling tool for Fresco is available online.
For state, regional, and local policymakers, the toolkit offers policy and program recommendations.
- UCCS Extreme Heat Webinar (.pdf)
This toolkit was developed as part of the Cal-THRIVES project funded by the California Strategic Growth Council.
- Susan Mazur-Stommen. "Fresno State of Mind: Results from Heat Resilience Research in a Disadvantaged Community." Behavior, Energy, and Climate Change Conference (2020) [pdf file]
- Yujie Xu, Tianzhen Hong, Wanni Zhang, Zhaoyun Zeng, Max Wei. "Heat Vulnerability Index Development and Mapping." Symposium on Simulation for Architecture and Urban Design (2021) [pdf file]
- Kaiyu Sun, Wanni Zhang, Zhaoyun Zeng, Ronnen M. Levinson, Max Wei, Tianzhen Hong. "Passive cooling designs to improve heat resilience of homes in underserved and vulnerable communities." Energy and Buildings Volume 252 (2021) [pdf file]
- Zhaoyun Zeng, Wanni Zhang, Kaiyu Sun, Max Wei, Tianzhen Hong. "Investigation of pre-cooling as a recommended measure to improve residential buildings’ thermal resilience during heat waves." Accepted for publication to Building and Environment [pdf file]
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab led the project and building modeling using CityBES
Indicia Consulting social scientists led focus groups and in-depth individual interviews.
Susan Mazur-Stommen, Haley Gilbert
University of Southern California led outdoor modeling using Envi-MET
George Ban-Weiss, Alexandra Bruce, Yuxi Liu, Kayley Butler
West Fresno Family Resource Center led for community outreach and phone surveys
Janice Mathurin, Yolanda Sue Randles
We also thank the Fresno Economic Opportunity Commission for energy assessment data and phone survey support.