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How Cool are Cool Roofs?


Cool roofs are an integral part of high-performance buildings and mitigating urban heat islands and climate change. High-performance buildings are those that have significantly lower energy consumption when compared with buildings that meet minimum code requirements, create a comfortable environment for occupants and are cost effective to operate.

Many factors can be attributed to higher performance buildings such as efficient heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems; sophisticated building controls for mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems; efficient envelope systems using materials with high thermal resistance or R-values for walls, windows and roofs; and ongoing monitoring and optimization, among other factors.

In this article for Consulting-Specifying Engineer, Eric Sheffer, LEED AP BD+C, O+M, ISSP-SA, (along with former colleagues Niharika Kishore, LEED AP BD+C, WELL AP, EMP, Fitwel Amb and Kristen DeHaven, PE, BEMP, LEED AP BD+C) educates readers on what a cool roof is and its design and cost implications; where cool roofs are most effective; and important reasons for using cool roofs.

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