Cool Roofs are...Cool!
Ronnen brought in samples of roofing materials, and explained that many new choices can both sport a color and reflect sunlight in the ultra violet or near-infrared as well as the visible light spectrum. This is important because while white has been the color of choice for industrial roofing intended to offset heat costs, it is not a viable choice for residential use. The issue of cool roofs and pavements is especially germane in urban settings where heat build-up from the built environment, roads and highways, creates islands of increased heat.
Research shows that energy usage in areas with hot summers can be reduced by as much as 40% by using cool roof strategies. A July news release from the lab with a fuller discussion of the issues, as well as further resources for money-saving cool roofs can be found here.
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