During last July’s heat wave, the temperature of black asphalt roofs in New York City peaked at around 170 degrees Fahrenheit. Add this to the black asphalt streets and dark colored buildings and sidewalks and you will see why NYC’s temperature generally clocks in around 5 degrees higher than the surrounding areas.
There is, however, an interesting way that researchers and organizations have sought to tackle this hot issue –white roofs.
According to the New York Times Green Blog, a paper was recently published online in Environmental Research Letters that explains the benefits to white roofing. A team of scientists from NASA and Columbia University’s Earth Institute have gathered the results of the first long-term study of the effects of white roofing material on temperature, smog and sun reflectivity.
The studies used three types of white roofing material on three different roofs around New York City. One was simple white acrylic paint, and the other two were two types of synthetic membrane roofing materials, E.P.D.M. (ethylene propylene diene monomer), and TPO (thermoplastic polyolefin).
The results indicated that all three options reduced temperatures by as much as 43 degrees Fahrenheit. There was also a 65 percent increase in sun reflectivity and a noted reduction in smog. However, in comparison to the membrane materials, the white paint failed to hold up over time (a span of two years) and therefore didn’t meet Energy Star standards.
While white paint can be an effective do-it-yourself option to reducing heat, the results show that it doesn’t withstand the test of time or measure up in terms of sustainability in comparison to membrane materials.
Duro-Last, a leading manufacturer of cool roof systems, believes that in order for white roofs to reach maximum efficiency, they must meet five criteria: energy, environment, endurance, economics, and engineering.
Their Duro-Last® Cool Zone® roofing system meets these criteria, and sets industry standards for single-ply roof reflectivity and energy savings. Their sustainable, synthetic membrane roofing systems can:
- minimize environmental impact;
- reduce energy consumption;
- are virtually maintenance free and able to stand up to all types of weather;
- deliver excellent life-cycle economics;
- are precision engineered as a completely integrated system, prefabricated to the exact measurements of each building.
To learn more about the benefits of white roofing and the Duro-Last® Cool Zone® roofing system, visit duro-last.com/coolzone or watch their video below.