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Cool Roofing Designs Save Energy

As temperatures begin to rise, many assess what can be done to reduce energy costs.

In looking for potential sources of energy waste, the rooftop may often be a forgotten about structure. As long as roofs are leak free and stable, sometimes not much more thought may be put into them.

There are, however, modifications that can be made to roofs to make them more energy efficient.

Darker roofing can clearly attract more heat, thus reducing energy savings. Cool roof designs use roofing materials that reflect light, therefore lessening heat absorption.

A lighter colored covering or a white roof can decrease energy consumption by as much as 20% on a hot day. Scientists have suggested that using reflective roof designs in highly populated areas could drastically reduce emissions. For example, a 1,000 square foot rooftop that has incorporated a cool roof design could annually save as much as a half-ton of carbon dioxide that is emitted from air conditioning units required to cool interior spaces.

Metal roofing that has a cool design integrated is also available. These can save energy due to the metal’s naturally reflective properties, which can help reduce heat absorption that makes a structure warmer. Metal roofs are typically long lasting, fully recyclable and have a low thermal mass that will not capture and store heat, as compared to some other roofing materials.

Also, protective roof coatings that combine light reflective pigments can be applied that come in a variety of lighter colors. These work in conjunction with cool design technology to further reduce energy loss.

Coolroofs.org has a pdf that offers an explanation of how cool roof designs work and gives the sketch below as an illustration.

Also included is a case study of a reflective roof application where researchers examined rooftop temperatures on a dark roof versus a lighter colored cool roof design. Solar reflectance, thermal emittance, and the environmental and money saving advantages of cool roofs are also explained.

Incorporating efficient designs, like cool roofing techniques, can drastically boost energy savings and reduce energy consumption.

Image Source: Coolroofs.org


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