THE NYC COOL ROOF PROGRAM

THE NYC °COOL ROOFS PROGRAM is an innovative effort to reduce cooling costs, energy usage and greenhouse gas emissions by applying reflective, white coating to rooftops. The citywide program – a unique partnership among public and private organizations, non-profit groups and individual property owners – is designed to cool 1 million square feet of rooftop. This effort is a component of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg's promise to coat rooftops white to help meet the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent by 2030, the primary goal of Plan NYC, the City's comprehensive sustainability plan. In September 2009, Mayor Bloomberg and former Vice President Al Gore first announced a pilot program for NYC °Cool Roofs with NYC Service volunteers, who coated 100,000 square feet of rooftop over a two-week period in Queens,


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May 12 2010 - Staten Island
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A building's temperature is determined by several factors, including the amount of energy asbsorbed by the roof.   Installing a Cool Roof reduces energy absorption and is an easy way to lower indoor air temperatures and cut energy costs. A Cool Roof is more than just a roof painted white.  The key to reducing energy absorption is a highly-reflective coating.  To be a Cool Roof, a roof must be treated with a specialized coating material that is lightly colored and has two unique properties: high solar reflectivity and high infrared emissivity.

Solar reflectivity expresses the degree to which a roof reflects the visible, infrared and ultraviolet rays that comprise solar energy.  Solar reflectivity is measured as a value between 0 and 1.  A value of 0 indicates a surface that is totally absorbent with no reflectance properties while a value of 1 indicates a totally reflective surface.

Infrared emissivity refers to the roof's ability to give off its absorbed heat. Highly emissive surfaces are cooler than non-emissive surfaces since they have the ability to shed more absorbed heat at a faster rate.

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May 12 2010
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  • gvw3
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What about winter when you could use this heat?
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May 12 2010
There are some differences of opinion that exist regarding the energy savings that result from highly reflective roofs in northern climates. The cooling benefits of a highly reflective roof surface do not outweigh the winter month heating benefits of a less reflective, or black, roof surface in cooler climates. Heating accounts for 29% of commercial buildings' yearly energy consumption, while air conditioning only accounts for 6% of that same yearly energy consumption. Therefore, in cooler climates, it is more beneficial to utilize a dark-colored roof surface to help lower heating costs, which far outweigh annual air conditioning expenses.There are some studies that have shown that reflective roofs are not always best in cool climates.
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May 13 2010
Philadelphia also has cool roof program. What a great effort and investment!
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May 13 2010
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gvw3,

My physics may be a bit rusty, and this is a little over simplified, but here is an explanation of why you can't use the heat in the winter.

Heat both radiates and rises, because of that we insulate the ceiling to contain the heat underneath it in the winter.  To capture the heat from the roof you would need to radiate the heat down when it is trying to rise, and at the same time try to keep the heat in the space from below.

In the summer, when the air is already warm in the building and you have a dark roof acting as a heat sink, it warms the area around the building up by radiating, increasing the effort to keep it cool.

So unless you have a solar collector and are sending the roof heat down through a conduit, you aren't going to gain from the dark roof in the winter.
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May 13 2010
in cooler climates, it is more beneficial to utilize a dark-colored roof surface to help lower heating costs, which far outweigh annual air conditioning expenses.There are some studies that have shown that reflective roofs are not always best in cool climates.
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June 15 2010
 
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