New Cool Roof

With winter utility bills still

fresh in their minds, many homeowners

are looking forward to warmer weather

with mixed emotions.While they're

eagerly anticipating relief from heating

costs, they're also concerned about the

alternative " the cost of keeping their

homes cool during the summer months.

Fortunately, innovative new roofing

technologies are now available, which

can dramatically reduce the amount of

energy needed to cool your home

during the summer.The result can be

as much as a 20-percent reduction in

air-conditioning costs.What's more, since

these energy-saving roofs are made of

metal, they are also extremely durable,

lightweight, and resistant to most natural

hazards such as fire, wind and hail.

These energy-saving metal roofing

systems use advanced "cool roof"

pigments, which greatly increase the

reflectivity of the painted metal roof

surface. Cool roofs reflect a greater

amount of the sun's infrared

wavelengths, which account for more

than half of the solar energy striking the

roof surface.

Most painted metal roofs reflect about

5 to 20 percent of this energy, but

cool-roof coatings can increase this

reflectance level to nearly 60 percent.

The difference in temperature can be

very dramatic, especially in medium to

darker colors.Yet since infrared energy is

invisible, the roof color is unaffected.

"When less heat penetrates the roof,

the attic remains cooler and, in turn, the

amount of summer heat leaking into the

air-conditioned space is reduced,"

explained Tony Chiovare, president of

Custom-Bilt Metals. His company was

one of the first manufacturers to

incorporate cool roof technology in its

metal shingles, metal shakes and

standing seam metal roofing products.

Cool roof technologies have been the

subject of years of field tests by

researchers from Lawrence Berkeley

National Laboratory and the Department

of Energy's Oak Ridge National

Laboratory. For example, in one recent

demonstration project, metal shakes

coated with Custom-Bilt Metals'TITANĀ®

Cool Roof finish were found to reduce

the amount of heat penetrating into a

home's attic by as much as 36 percent,

offering significant savings in the energy

required to cool the home."The energy

savings have attracted the attention of

builders, utilities, regulatory authorities

and building code officials. Several years

ago, the federal Energy StarĀ® program

was even expanded to include roofing

products that meet or exceed minimum

solar reflectance standards.And now

homeowners could save even more with

tax incentives provided under the new

Energy Bill that passed a number of

months ago," Chiovare said.

Cool roofs are also recognized by the

newly revised California Code of

Regulations. It establishes minimum levels

of solar roof reflectance for construction

in California, depending on the building's

use, design and climate zone.

Beyond immediate energy savings, cool

roof technology also contributes to longterm

cost savings by increasing the life

expectancy of the roof, Chiovare added.

Because less heat is absorbed, the roof

surface undergoes less expansion and

contraction, which extends the roof life

and produces even more cost savings.

Best of all, the savings do not come at

the expense of aesthetic appeal. In

addition to standing seam metal roofs,

today's metal roofing can faithfully

replicate the appearance of virtually any

traditional roofing material, from wooden

shakes and shingles to slate and terra

cotta tile, Chiovare said. Other attractive

benefits include corrosion and fade

resistance, minimal maintenance and

exceptional resistance to wind, thanks to

innovative new designs that interlock

adjacent panels for added strength.

"All these traditional metal roofing

benefits are now enhanced by the energy

and cost-saving advantages offered by

cool roof finishes," Chiovare concluded.


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