The Climate Coach in the Washington post essentially used this title….and he is so very correct. I cannot tell you how often I see new homes, and retrofitted homes, getting standard black asphalt shingles…ARGH…Of course, the architects who specify these are looking only at the color…and the builders that use them really don’t care about long term energy costs…since they build and leave. However, the homeowner and the neighborhood suffer.
The idea of a cool roof is such basic common sense for most of the country and it is becoming more logical as a choice the warmer that it becomes…(Remember, even here in NJ we have had one of the hottest summers ever). Certainly, each project should be evaluated on its location and energy loads…And this holds for commercial buildings as well. But on average, the use of cool roof types makes very good sense and dollars…
They extend the life of the roof, reduce the impact of the heat island effect, make the building more comfortable in hot weather, reduce AC loads and even make it easier for workers to work on the roof units if needed in commercial buildings…with sunglass and sunscreen of course.
Colors are really not an issue any more for residential, but white for commercial makes the most sense. It took some doing, but in some industrial buildings that I once owned, I was able to convince my partners that the replacement roofs should be cool roofs…The proof of the pudding was a hot summer day when the roof was only half finished…the half that was finished was so much cooler than the half that was not finished it stunned people in the building.
Architects reading this, get with it (unless you already are)…and for the rest of us, when it is time to replace the roof, let’s get cool.
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We’re building roofs wrong. A different approach can save money and lives.