Though they’ve been around for two decades, the inherent energy efficiency and environmental benefits of cool roofs have building owners and roofing contractors using them more than ever, especially in low-slope commercial and industrial applications.
The most important characteristic of a cool roof is albedo, or solar reflectance, which helps deflect sunlight and heat from a building, helping keep roof temperatures down. In addition, thermal emittance plays a big role, especially in warm and sunny environments. Combined, solar reflectance and thermal emittance help roofs absorb less heat and remain 50 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit cooler than more traditional roofs during hot Texas summers.
Cool roofs offer several advantages over other systems. For instance, they transfer less heat to the building which results in less energy required for air conditioning. In addition, since a cool roof lowers energy use, pollution and greenhouse gas emissions are also lowered.
Cool roofs admittedly deflect some desired heat gain during the winter. However, their installation generally results in a net energy savings.