A Closer Look into Cool Roofs
Cool Roofs and Cost Savings for Commercial Building Owners
As a commercial building owner with a flat roof, you know first-hand that your roof is a cost-intensive investment. Once the initial costs of installation have been paid, you have maintenance and cleaning fees, snow removal, and possibly repair costs if those are not covered under your warranty. An additional factor you may not have considered is the impact of your roof on your yearly energy costs. With the continual rise in energy costs over the past 2 decades, business owners and roofing system manufacturers are increasing their focus on keeping heating and cooling costs down.
One of the most effective ways of keeping your commercial building energy costs down is to choose a “cool roof”. So, what exactly is a cool roof? The Cool Roof Ratings Council (CCRC) is an independent organization that verifies and labels roofing products and certifies them if they meet certain criteria. The simplest and most effective criterion to measure a highest-performance cool roof is the Solar Reflective Index (SRI).
The SRI is expressed as a value from 0 to 100, with a higher number meaning a cooler roof. The SRI is measured twice – once when the roof is brand new, and again at the 3-year mark after the flat roofing membrane has aged. The SRI measurements are done in the laboratory for each specific manufacturer and type of roofing membrane. These are listed on the Cool Roofs Directory on Coolroofs.org. As a building owner trying to determine the energy performance of their commercial roof, all you need to do is look at the SRI value for the roofing system that you currently have or are considering for your new commercial roof, without having to decipher and interpret a lot of technical roofing and physics terminology.
So how exactly does a Cool Roof for your commercial building save you money throughout the year?
Cool roofs can save money in several ways in addition to energy savings, such as rebates and incentives, HVAC equipment downsizing, and extended roof lifetime.
While cool roofs may save more units of energy in the hottest climate zones, climate zones are not necessarily the best indicator of the relative value of cool roofs. For example, the savings might be more valuable in New York City than in Dallas because electricity is three times more expensive in New York.
Roofs wear out and fail for many reasons, and some are linked to temperature. For example, higher temperatures can speed up material degradation. Cool roofs maintain a lower average temperature, so, in principle, this could slow heat-related degradation.
Some utilities and agencies offer rebates and incentives for cool roofs. To find out if there are any programs in your location, visit the CRRC website or DSIRE website and check with Complete Commercial Roofing.
The Roof Savings Calculator, developed by the US Department of Energy, is a simple and free online tool that allows users to estimate cooling and heating savings for flat roofs with non-black surfaces. To use this tool, you will need to answer a few basic questions about your building. The results will show you how much energy savings you can expect to achieve by choosing a high-performance cool roof.
Call Complete Commercial Roofing!
Choosing a roofing system and a roofing contractor are both very big decisions to make. Complete Commercial Roofing has been serving all of Indiana for more than 20 years. Allow us to answer your questions and assist you throughout this process. Reach out to us today at 877-227-5552.
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