The Cool Roof Rating Council: Saving Energy, Planet & Health From The Roof Down

by mbryce2012 on September 6, 2012

The Cool Roof Rating Council (CRRC) was founded in 1998 to develop methods for rating the solar reflectiveness and radiative properties of roofing materials. The industry, and the consumer, can now rely on the CCRC rating program when making eco-friendly and cost-effective roofing decisions.

WHY SHOULD WE CARE ABOUT COOL ROOFING?

Cool Roofing Reduces Global Warming
Our addiction to air conditioning is a huge contributor to global warming. According to Stan Cox, senior scientist at the Land Institute in Kansas, the world’s commercial, industrial, and residential air conditioners consume at least one trillion kilowatt-hours of electricity annually.(1)

This kind of usage dumps millions of metric tons of carbon dioxide into the air every year. When you consider the fact that up to 40% of energy use can be attributed to inefficient roofing, the point of a cooler rooftop becomes very clear:  Cooler roof = cooler planet.

In fact, a 2008 study conducted by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory concluded that a world-wide switch to reflective “cool” roofing would contribute to a global-cooling effect equal to offsetting 24 gigatons of CO2 over the useful life of the roofs. (2)

Cool Roofing Decreases the Urban Island Effect
The Urban Island Effect (UIE) occurs when a densely populated area, such as a city, has a temperature a few degrees higher than the urban area surrounding it. This occurs because permeable vegetation has been replaced by concrete and heat-trapping rooftops which soak up the sun’s heat during the day and release it at night.

The following chart demonstrates the temperature shift on an Urban Heat Island.

The UIE contributes to smog levels in cities, as well as increased energy use, higher levels of greenhouse gasses, and damage to water ecosystems. As part of urban energy efficiency programs, cool roofing addresses a major part of this eco-unfriendly phenomenon.(3)

Cool Roofing is Good for Your Health
In an urban island effect area, the higher levels of air pollution combined with hot days and nights are not only uncomfortable, but can contribute to: Breathing problems, asthma, heat exhaustion, heat cramps, and heat stroke.(3)

If you are one of the growing number of people in the United States who can no longer afford to run the air conditioning during hot summer months, the cooling effect of a reflective roof could mean the difference between feeling okay and sweating to death. Or in the case of the elderly or infirm, dying of heat stroke.

Cool Roofing Saves Money!
Cool roofs can save you roughly 10% – 30% on your residential cooling costs during those hotter summer months when A/C accounts for about 40% of your total energy use. With the cost per kilowatt-hour of energy rising, that can amount to incredible savings.

Cool roof maintenance costs are also much lower. The reflective roof’s heat-deflection decreases climactic stress caused by swelling and contracting, such as ice damming, cracking and warping. There is also less stress on your air conditioner and attic fan, increasing the equipment’s longevity.

HOW DOES THE COOL ROOF RATING COUNCIL HELP?

  • The CRRC provides you with an easy to use Directory of Rated Products, where you can search by keywords, model numbers and other specifications or scroll through the entire list of rated products.
  • On their web site, you can find information on everything from energy savings to finding a contractor in your area. The CRRC is committed to educating the public about the benefits of cool roofing.
  • The CRRC’s membership and minutes are open to the public. It is a non-profit organization with no financial ties to the industry.
  • The CRRC is an accredited standards developer for the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). This enables the CRRC standards to act as a world-wide solar reflectance and thermal emittance reference for building codes and rating programs.

Check the CRRC web site before making roofing decisions about your home or business… For your pocket book, your health, and your planet.

Resources:

  1. Cox, Stan.  Cooling a Warming Planet: A Global Air Conditioning Surge. July 10, 2012.  http://e360.yale.edu/feature/cooling_a_warming_planet_a_global_air_conditioning_surge/2550/
  2. Akbari, H. Global Cooling: Increasing Solar Reflectance of Urban Areas to Offset CO2. 2008. In press, Climate Change.
  3. http://www.epa.gov/heatisld/about/index.htm

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