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Why 'Cool Roofs' are essential to Urban Resilience

As the impacts of climate change has becomes increasingly more apparent, investing in sustainable technologies to improve the resilience of our cities is more important than ever. While Solar roof panels are now a common talk for energy efficiency and sustainability, but a roof's coatings can have profound imapcts on a building's environmental performance as well as to the entire surrounding communities.

LuminX - Cool roof High SRI coating was done for Nexus - Malls for IGBC Green Retail category.


On a typical summer day, a traditional "dark roof" absorb a significant sunlight - around 100 watt per square foot or the power of one bright incandescent light bulb, according to Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. This effect heats both the building and surrounding air, which increases energy use in air conditioned buildings, making non-air conditioned buildings less comfortable. Meanwhile hot dark roofs give rise the Urban Heat Islands by warming the air flowing over the roof, and contribute to climate change by radiating heat into the atmosphere. With average global temperature on the rise - According to NASA’s temperature record, Earth in 2021 was about 1.9 degrees Fahrenheit (or about 1.1 degrees Celsius) warmer than the late 19th century average, the start of the industrial revolution. so dark roofs are going to make very less sense in the coming future. Increasinlgy, so called - "Cool Roofs", which reflects and emit the sun's solar energy back in to the sky instead of absorbing and transferring heat into the builings below. Cool roofs presents an innovative solution to facility manages and architects.

What is a Cool roof? A roof which stays cooler as compare to standered roof by reflecting sunlight and cooling itself by efficiently emitting radiations to its surroundings, a cool roof literally stays cooler by 40-50% and reduces the amount of heat conducted to the building below. In buildings without air conditionings, this kepps the building cooler and at a more contact temperature. And if a building has air conditioning, it doesn't need to work as hard to maintain cool indoor conditions.

One of the most used Cool roof Coating product - LuminX to create a cool roof - the installation of a cool, white, high SRI, elastomeric roof coating. As the Cool Roof Rating Council (CRRC) puts it: "Imaging wearing a white or black T-shirt on a hot sunny day. By wearing the white T-shirt, you will remain cooler than if you wore a black T-shirt because it reflects more sunlight and absorbs less heat. Cool Roof, like a white T-shirt, keep the internal temperature of the building lower."

Adopting to a reflective cool roof coating like LuminX is an effective measure to reduce the internal temperature in buildings - the coatings have a High TSR (Total Solar reflectance) or high solar reflectivity helps to reduce the overheating at high temperature, while effectively contributing to an extended lifetime of a roof.


Economic benefits of cool roofs

By reducing temperature fluctuations inside a building, a cool roof can offer a reduced cooling energy costs while increasing comfort level. While energy savings vary depending on climate and geography. Report by Prof. Vishal Gard - IIITHyderabd-India, The annual savings achieved due to cool roof specified as compared to normal roof, specieifed is 2,703 kWh which results in an annual savings of Rs 16,217 Along with energy savings cool roof offer advantage for architect while selecting insualtion - Higher is the roof reflectivity lesser is the insulation required and about 25mm thickness insulation seems appropriate in all climatic zones of India.

At the same time, Cool roofs can increase occupant comfort and avoid the need for installing an air conditioner where there isn’t already one – and decrease the size and prolong the life of air conditioning systems. With new HVAC systems costing hundreds of dollars, these are no small peanuts. And as many cities increasingly call for more stringent green building codes, cool roofs can help homes and other buildings meet them and support sustainable cooling demands on new Urban cities.


The Future of roofs is Cool

As the virtues of cool roof have become more apprarent and we are seeing cool roofs increasingly discussed in mainstream forums. Cool roofs are the suited solutions for builgind with large, flat surface areas such as malls and warehouse, schools, factories etc. the world will increasingly require cool roofs as an option for reducing energy consumption and migitaing the urabn heat island effect, they will becomes a critical tool for promoting urabna resislience.


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