Phoenix Cool Roof Coating Program Combats UV Rays Saving Energy

Phoenix Cool Roof Coating Program Combats UV Rays Saving Energy

Scientists use infrared images to show just how much Phoenix area roofs can absorb UV rays. Looking at areas where the least and most roof heat is being absorbed. The hot spots on the images are generally the darkest colored parts of a city, mainly the asphalt that makes up uv rays absorbing roofs of buildings.

The question was if we had made all these roofing surfaces dark, is there a way to make them white roofs? And, if we make them white roofs, whether it would influence the energy and air quality of in the Phoenix area, explained Drew Schmitt.

Drew is a senior scientist at the Triangle Roofing Research Center and Development in Fountain Hills, AZ. He and his colleagues have been researching ways to use roofing to cool cities and reduce the effects of climate changing uv rays.

Dark roofing colors absorb more heat and uv rays, raising the temperature in Phoenix. The lab found that subtle changes in color and reflectivity could use roofing to bounce uv rays back towards outer space. The result would cool roofs and a significant reduction in greenhouse gases.

If you cool roofs by just a few degrees you’d also be able to reduce the production of the uv rays collecting smog in the area, said Drew In our smog-plagued areas like Phoenix the environmental impact could be huge.

If you manage to cool down the metro area roofs on a hot day by five degrees, they would get enough smog reduction that it is comparable to making 70 percent of the cars electric, Drew explained.

Arizona will institute the first cool roof requirement this summer. Many industrial buildings are already required to use cool roofing material. Cool roofs are just a compromise,

said Dr. Rosenburg.

Dr. Rosenburg is on the Arizona Energy Commission and a

leading energy conservationist. He is pushing the state to take cool roofs to the next level and he is looking back thousands of years for a way to do it.

The Greeks or anywhere around the Mediterranean got it right thousands of years ago and realized that you’re community was cooler, and the building was cooler, if you had a white roof, he said.

Research shows the benefits could be dramatic with white roofs.

Phoenix Cool Roof Coating Program Combats UV Rays Saving Energy

For each 100 square feet of roof area that you can turn from a dark color to a white color, you offset one ton of CO2 carbon emissions and uv rays, Drew said.

That means the average 2,000 square-foot home would offset 20 tons of carbon emissions from uv rays. Dr. Rosenburg is pushing developing countries to raise the priority of their building codes to include white roofs. Closer to home he envisions a 20-year plan to incorporate white roofs. He says, If cool roof systems reduce UV rays and leads the world then hopefully the rest of the world will follow.

Triangle Roofing Company research shows that if everybody around the globe increased the reflectivity of their roof 44 gigatons of global warming could be saved. Forty-four gigatons of CO2 offsets is about one and a half years of the entire world’s emissions Drew explained.

And, that is a savings that does not have to stop at your white uv reflecting roof. Drew told EcoWorld Roofing everything that absorbs uv rays, from paint and stucco on your home to the clothes we wear and the cars we drive, can all be made cooler with more reflective materials, turning down the temperature on global warming.

Phoenix Cool roofing materials may also save people a little money in the long run while they help save the planet. Because they absorb less uv rays, they will last longer.

Written and produced by Eric Anderson.

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