Cool Roofs

White roofs (such as this newly installed TPO roof) can stay up to 60°F (33°C) cooler than roofs made from darker, more traditional materials. 

Image source: Cool Roof Ratings Council.

Useful Links:

1. GeneralAn excellent introduction to cool roofs is available at the website of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

2. General: "Should Cool Roofs Be Used in Colder Climates" by Daniel Overbey is an interesting look at the ongoing attempt to establish a definitive answer to that question. Available on Mr. Overbey's blog

3. General: "Economic Comparison of White, Green, and Black Flat Roofs in the United States" is an excellent short paper which focuses on the relative life-cycle costs and environmental effects of these three roof categories in warm climates. The paper is from 2013, was produced by researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and is available at the website of the EPDM Roofing Association.

4. General: "Analysis of 'Economic Comparison of White, Green, and Black Flat Roofs In the United States'" is an interesting critique of the foregoing study. It was sponsored by the EPDM Roofing Association, and is available on their website.  

5. Government: State and local tax credits for cool roofs and other incentives and policies can be seen by going to the DSIRE (Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency) website, which is funded by the US Department of Energy and operated by the North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center

6. Standards: Energy Star - the "About Energy Star" page at the official Energy Star website.

7. Standards: LEED - Overview of the US Green Building Council's LEED Program.

8. TechnicalReflectance of Roof Materials - A convenient table available on the Home Energy Saver website, created by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

9. TechnicalA directory of roofing products and their solar reflectance index (SRI) is available at the website of the Cool Roof Rating Council.

10. Technical: "Comparative Evaluation of the Impact of Roofing Systems on Residential Cooling Energy Demand in Florida" provides data about the potential of highly reflective roofs to save money and energy by reducing the need for air conditioning. The paper is from 2002 and available on the Florida Solar Energy Center website

11. Technical: "Cool Roofing in Canadian Climates" is a short technical bulletin that explains, among other things, that "roofing products are NOT included in Canada's ENERGY STAR® program". Available at the Canadian Asphalt Shingle Manufacturers' Association website.