Cool Roofs: Title 24, LEED Provide Standards and Guidelines
OTHER PARTS OF THIS ARTICLEPt. 1: Cool Roofs Reject Heat, Lower Cooling LoadsPt. 2: Lower Your Energy Bills with Cool RoofsPt. 3: Cool Roofs Generate Lower Surface TemperaturesPt. 4: Cool Roofs: Develop a Maintenance PlanPt. 5: This Page
Cool roofing products often are specified for new construction and re-roofing projects to comply with building codes or to improve building efficiency and lower the life-cycle costs of a roof. Organizations such as the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification program and the Green Building Initiative’s Green Globes system have developed voluntary guidelines and certification programs that cover cool roofing. These programs aim to provide guidance on the components of a green building, and they offer credits and points for using a cool roof.
Building energy codes, such as the California Energy Commission Title 24, also have set standards for cool roofing materials in recognition of cool roofs’ energy-saving potential. Title 24 only includes a cool-roof requirement for low-slope, commercial buildings. Requirements for other building types are likely to follow soon.
As environmental considerations affect building designs and as managers strive to save energy and money, cool roofing products have gained momentum. The combination of energy savings, less maintenance and increased comfort can make cool roofing products a cost-effective measure.
To help managers compare products and make informed decisions, the Cool Roof Rating Council (CRRC) maintains a rating system for measuring and reporting the solar reflectance and thermal emittance of roof products.
This free, public tool provides educational information to individuals buying or specifying a roof. The directory lists more than 850 roofing products. Users can search the directory according to one category or many categories concurrently.
Manufacturers and sellers that are licensed with the CRRC and are interested in obtaining a product rating begin the process by choosing a CRRC accredited independent testing laboratory to perform initial product testing.
The CRRC rates products based on the top layer’s measured reflective properties. Once initial testing is complete, licensees can apply for a product rating.
The Cool Roof Rating Council — www.coolroofs.org — provided information for this article.