Does your commercial building need an energy saving cool roofing system?
In the past few years, technology that makes roofing cooler and more energy efficient has been evolving.
Cool roofing is designed mostly for commercial buildings to make sure that they stay cool despite possible increases in temperature and to ensure that the occupants are comfortable and that the environment is conserved in the process.
Here is what you need to know about the technology and the benefits you are likely to get from investing in a cool roof for your commercial or industrial building.
What are cool roofing systems?
Cool roof systems are usually white or light colored.
They are characterized by high levels of light reflectance, which means that most of the heat energy which comes from the rays of the sun does not get into the building and instead bounces off the covering material.
Reflectance, also known as albedo, is the percentage of light which is reflected from the surface of the roof. If a material has a high albedo rating, it means that it reflects most of its heat away from itself and is therefore very efficient in cooling the house.
Another important quality to understand when selecting the roofing material is emittance. When a roof has a low emittance rate, it heats up more easily because of an increased ability to collect and trap heat. Therefore, the ideal material should have a high reflectance and emittance rates.
Why Metropolitan areas need cool roofs
There are a number of reasons why metropolitan areas need cool metal roofing.
First, metropolitan areas have tried all they could to manage their power demand, but most of these efforts have been unsuccessful, which means that most cities cannot even meet their growing demands for electricity.
Second, the urban areas have been unable to control the consequences of the excessive heat emissions from their industries. They have consequently become heat islands where their temperatures often reach highs of up to 10 degrees more than the surrounding areas.
There is also the fact that the emissions from the cities are having a deleterious effect on the ozone layer, which is increasing the temperatures even more.
All these are the factors which have led to rigorous research into cool roofs for urban areas.
How does cool roofing save energy?
There are several ways in which cool roofing systems save energy.
First, when light reflects off of the building, less energy is being absorbed into the building, and that means that fewer temperature control measures will be needed to keep the inside cool and habitable.
When you reduce the amount of time that the HVAC system has to run, you have cut the energy usage a significant percentage.
Energy saving roofing systems also mean that you will not have to spend as much money on refrigeration, especially of the commercial building is a food processing plant, a grocery store or a restaurant because when the building has cool air, food can stay fresh longer.
On the large scale, if all the buildings in a city were to adopt energy saving systems such as membrane roofing, everyone would be using less electrical power for HVAC, which would translate to a decrease in demand for electric power and energy costs.
Picking the right cool roof
Color: Generally, the lighter the pigment of the material used, the cooler the roof will be.
White is the standard color, however there are darker tones of materials that can be used that are also energy efficient.
If you want to get a roof which will sufficiently keep the building cool but is still made from shingles, think about getting lighter colored shingles that have an ERC rating for being energy saving material.
Some of the colors that you should go for include:
- Valley Oak
- Amber Burst
- Arctic White
- Dual Grey
- Desert Gold
These are colors that are common, even with shingles, and will do a better job at keeping the building cool, than other roofing materials.
Material of the roof: there are other materials that can be made into efficient energy saving roofing systems.
Some of these include slate tiles, terra cotta and clay, solar photo-voltaic cells, rubber membranes and many others.
The color of these materials is one of the factors that affect their effectiveness as cool roofs because it means most of the rays bounce off the surface as opposed to getting absorbed into the building.
What are the benefits of installing a cool roof?
The first obvious reason to install a cool roof is that you will be cutting down your energy costs.
However, there are many other benefits which you are likely to gain from investing in energy efficiency.
- Tax credits: there are states where your cool roof will earn you a tax credit through the energy star rating program. The municipal councils offer rebate taxes for people who install cool roofing systems.
- Overall comfort and quality of life: when a building has invested in cool roofs, the temperatures inside will be comfortable for the people working there to perform as they should.
- Environmental conservation: when all the buildings in a town adopt cool roofs, the phenomenon of a warmer micro-climate being created around the area disappears, which has green benefits for the environment. There is also the fact that less energy requirements for temperature regulation will lead to fewer carbon emissions in energy production.
The benefits of having a cool roofing system on your building are countless.
Schedule an evaluation
It takes time to assess all the available cool roofing systems and pick the best for your situation.
To get the most practical advice about installing a roof to make your building cooler and save on energy costs, talk to the experts at Sentry Roofing, Inc.
We will guide you through aspects such as ERC ratings, the roofing techniques which are useful in reducing the amount of heat absorbed from the sun and also the maintenance process which you will need to follow to keep a cool roof in its best condition.
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Sentry Roofing, Inc.
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