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Centerline Roofing: Your Go-To Experts for Commercial Cool Roof Installations

As extreme weather becomes more common, cool roofing offers even more advantages in terms of energy savings and resilience.

Cool roofs have been an important tool in promoting energy efficiency, reducing peak energy demand, improving air quality, and mitigating the urban heat island effect for over 20 years. Initially introduced in building codes and standards around the same time as the launch of the Energy Star Roofing Program, early state codes and national standards offered compliance credits for cool roofing materials on low-sloped commercial buildings, such as California and Florida's statewide building standards and ASHRAE 90.1 Standard. Chicago became the first city to adopt reflective roofing materials prescriptively in 2001, paving the way for prescriptive cool roof requirements in many building energy codes, including the International Energy Conservation Code.

Today, numerous jurisdictions across the US mandate, prescribe, or incentivize cool roofs for both new and existing commercial and residential buildings, as a means of reducing cooling energy savings, reducing peak energy demand, improving local air quality, and mitigating urban heat islands. This has been aided in recent years by the federal push to increase the energy efficiency of existing buildings, adoption of Building Performance Standards at various levels of government, and local implementation of policies and programs to increase climate resilience. For instance, New York City has made significant strides to increase cool roof installations through the NYC CoolRoofs initiative and Local Laws 97 and 94, passed as part of the Climate Mobilization Act.

As climate change intensifies heat waves, cities such as Denver, Philadelphia, and Scottsdale, Arizona, require the installation of cool roofs on new and existing buildings as a means of meeting climate and energy goals, and addressing the growing intensity and frequency of heat waves. Other cities promote cool roofs through voluntary green building programs, income-qualified or affordable housing programs, and financial incentives.

Several states, including California, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, and Texas, prescribe cool roofs, with Hawaii currently considering aligning its low-slope cool roof requirements with California's building standards.

The urban heat island effect, which causes cities to be hotter than surrounding rural and suburban areas, intensifies the negative impacts of extreme heat, causing heat illness and increased respiratory and cardiovascular problems, disrupting key infrastructure such as power grids and water supplies. Cool roofs help provide passive cooling during extreme heat events and can help mitigate the impacts of the urban heat island effect.

Green building rating systems such as LEED and Green Globes promote cool roofs as heat mitigation strategies, with points awarded for the installation of a cool roof that meets specified minimum Solar Reflectance Index (SRI) values.

Cool roofs are available in various product types, including "cool color" products that use infrared reflective (IR) pigments. The "coolness" of a roof material is determined by its solar reflectance, thermal emittance, and SRI values, with particularly cool materials exceeding 100. The Cool Roof Rating Council maintains a free resource that lists roofing products based on radiative performance, including products that widely range in solar reflectance, thermal emittance, and SRI.

Looking to install a cool roof on your commercial building? Trust the experts at Centerline Roofing for all your roofing needs. Contact us today to learn how we can help you improve energy efficiency, reduce cooling costs, and mitigate the urban heat island effect with a new cool roof installation.

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