THESE NEW ROOFS ARE REALLY “COOL”

“Cool Roofs” ride the wave of Green Building, and save property owners and managers lots of green, too.

According to the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency, rooftops represent 15 to 30% of the total land area in major cities, representing an opportunity to create a positive impact on our environment by incorporating green building principals when re-roofing. Property owners and facilities managers are quickly learning that these green rooftops can help to create a positive impact on their bottom line as well.

Green building is the design and construction of buildings to increase their efficiency in the use of water, energy, and maintenance. The goal of green building is to minimize the negative impact on the environment and our health. Sustainable roofing alternatives like “Cool Roofs” are part of the green building movement, and provide longer service life, lower maintenance costs and significant energy savings—which all add up to minimizing the negative effect on the environment and our wallets.

Traditional roof surfaces such as aggregate, metal, mineral cap sheet, aluminum coatings and “black” EPDM can reach temperatures up to 210 degrees during the summer months. In cities and suburbs, this creates a heat island effect, which is an increase in outside temperature compared to rural areas.

It’s due to the replacement of natural land cover with pavement, roads and buildings. This causes an increase in the use of energy.

The “Title 24″ section within the California Building Code now requires commercial buildings that use electricity to cool air in the structure to install a “Cool Roof” when re-roofing. A “Cool Roof” has a surface reflectance rating of at least .70 of solar energy and emittance rating of at least of .75 absorbed heat (as defined by the Cool Roof Rating Council) and will limit surface temperatures to approximately 120 degrees, decreasing the demand for electricity. And there’s more good news: Owners and managers of commercial buildings have discovered that “Cool Roofs” reduce cooling costs anywhere from 10% to 30%. And almost any roof is a candidate for this coating.

Lightweight, seamless and walkable, “Cool Roofs” can be treated as roof maintenance so they can be expensed in a single year. There is no tear-off, so nothing goes in the landfill. Lower cooling costs, environmental factors, and financial benefits make fluid applied “Cool Roofs” an attractive choice and “Title 24″ compliant. In fact, many facilities managers aren’t even waiting until their roofs have reached their full life cycle before re-roofing.

Here’s a great example of how one commercial real estate firm realized significant savings with a “Cool Roof”: Recently, CB Richard Ellis, manager of the Comerica campus in San Jose, had Platinum Roofing inspect the campus’s roof for replacement. It was originally a conventional reinforced hot bitumen roof system with a cap sheet surface, that was re-roofed using a polyester reinforced white Metacrylic “Cool Roof ” about 15 years ago. This seamless roof system is “Title 24″ compliant and carries a lifetime renewable warranty. Platinum Roofing’s inspection verified that after 15 years, the roof only needed cleaning and another 36 mils of white acrylic top-coat and the warranty could be renewed for another 10 years. At less than a 1/3 of the cost of a total roof replacement, this was very good news.

And without its disposal in our landfill, its saves more than just dollars.

-Mike Stephenson

See how “cool” it is to save a little green. For information about “Cool Roofing,” and other money saving roof maintenance ideas, call us at Platinum Roofing Inc. (408) 280-5028.

This article originally appeared in the Bay Area Building Management Resource Guide.