April 22nd is the worldwide celebration of Earth Day which reminds us all of the importance of taking actions that save energy, the climate, and the Earth. This year marks the 46th anniversary of the movement that spurred us into action to tackle environmental issues in all parts of our lives.
A basic campaign of the Earth Day Network is to create green cities so we can live more sustainable lives. Using green building materials to encourage energy efficiency is a strategy for reducing energy consumption in buildings by 30-80%. An area where this can have a dramatic impact is in roofing materials. White roofs (also known as cool roofs) are made from reflective materials that reduce heat transfer to the surface. This keeps the heat from penetrating to the interior of the building, reducing the amount of air conditioning needed to cool the building in the summer. White roofs are beneficial to green cities by reducing local air temperatures and lowering electricity demand and energy generation. In hotter climates these roofs reduce urban heat and keep buildings cooler at night unlike black top, pavement, or dark roofing materials that absorb heat during the day and cool down very slowly after sunset.
The material used in white roofs can be made from materials that are white in color or materials that have been coated to be reflective. Some ideal materials include EPDM which is a rubber roofing material used on flat and low-slope roofs and is available in white; PNC roofing which is reflective and can provide energy efficiency, and thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) which is growing in acceptance. All of these materials push back the solar rays keeping the roof cooler on scorching hot days.
Knickerbocker has been involved with many green roofing installations and our specialty roofing capabilities will improve LEED certifications and help create green cities, reduce energy consumption, and be environmentally conscious. Contact us to learn more about white roofs and how they can improve your building’s performance today.