Are Cool Roofs Green? The Answer’s Not Black and White

Candace Pearson wrote a comprehensive review of cool roofs for the Environmental Building News, which summarizes the debate surrounding cool roofs.   She covers a lot of ground in this summary, from the impact of cool roofs on urban heat, to climate zones, calculators, building codes, ratings systems and ducts.  The article also summarizes actions by municipalities and states throughout the U.S. that are already incorporating cool roof requirements into their building codes.

From the beginning of this report:

Cool roofs—those with reflectance and emissivity that make them good at keeping out the sun’s heat—are recommended widely without much regard for climate or project specifics.  They’ve been adopted into multiple energy codes, including ASHRAE 90.1, the International Energy Conservation Code, and California’s Title 24, not to mention LEED.  The concept even has its own bill in the U.S. Senate, the Energy-Efficient Cool Roofs Jobs Act. [LINK]

Representatives Tom Reed (R-NY) and Bill Pascrell (D-NJ) have also introduced a companion bill in the House (H.R. 4740).

The article concludes by stating that cool roofs are “still a good bet.”   This is one of the better summaries of the cool roof debate that we have seen.  Well worth a read.

You can read the full article here (paid subscription).

Suggested citation or credit:
July 2014
Volume 23, Number 7

Source: Environmental Building News

Publication Date: July 2014

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