In the 1990’s a movement began to utilize reflective coatings on roofs as one method of reducing energy consumption. This meant utilizing white or nearly white coatings instead of dark coatings. While effective, in many commercial facilities it was not seen as aesthetically pleasing.
Researchers have been trying to increase the reflectivity of coated surfaces while being able at the same time to move away from pure white and use other colors. In 2012, Huntsman International, a chemical corporation focused on materials improvement, received the Institution of Chemical Engineers award for their development of a new pigment which can significantly increase the reflectivity of a coating. This pigment (ALTIRIS) has been demonstrated to increase reflectivity of a black coating by 25%. Beige and violet coatings demonstrated increases of nearly 100%.
This is an example of what is now commonly called “cool roof” technology. In the U.S., a rating program for cool roof technology has been developed. The Cool Roof Rating Council was formed and makes recommendations for reflective standards in roofs. In North America standards known as Title 24 are being recommended for 2014 to help reduce energy consumption by increasing the reflectivity of roofs. These recommendations are used by legislators and local governments with respect to changing building codes.
The savings achieved through cool roof technology can be substantial. The Title 24 recommendations are expected to save buildings as much as 30% on their energy bills. In addition, these savings are not limited to structures on land; the maritime industry is also exploring ways to decrease energy consumption through the use of reflective coatings.
When it comes time to renew your roof, consider some of the advantages of cool roof thinking. With the development of elastomeric roof coatings, as well as other technological advances like ALTIRIS, you may be able to enjoy significant energy savings when you re-coat your roof.
Wouldn’t it be nice to get a return on your roofing investment?