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Choosing the Right Cool Roofing Products

The benefits of cool roofs—including a notable reduction in energy consumption and related costs, a decreased environmental footprint, increased personal comfort for building occupants, and enhanced roof durability, to name a few—account for ever-increasing numbers of cool roofing products on the market. Because the expense of repairing or replacing a commercial roof can be significant, and because your choice will likely influence building conditions and maintenance for many years, making the best decision is very important.

Review the following suggestions:

Know that Definitions for “Cool” Roofs Vary
The U.S. Department of Energy qualifies a low-sloped roof as “cool” in two ways, the first of which involves specifying minimum solar reflectance and thermal emittance values. Alternatively, a cool low-sloped roof is one that meets or exceeds the minimum Solar Reflectance Index (SRI), a number that reflects the relationship between a roof’s thermal emittance and solar reflectance. For steep-sloped roofs, however, the DOE simply defines a cool roof as one that has a three-year aged SRI of 29 or greater.

Other agencies use different cool roof definitions. The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program only utilizes minimum SRI values, specifying different SRIs for low-sloped roofs and steep-sloped roofs. The ENERGY STAR® program specifies minimum solar reflectance and does not consider thermal emittance or SRI at all.

Ensure Product Compatibility with the Application

Consider the following when shopping for cool roofing products:

* Project requirements—Determine whether the existing roof requires repair, retro-fitting or replacement.

* Financial considerations—also to project estimates, include ongoing maintenance costs as well as current and predicted energy costs in your analysis.

* Applicable regulations—Determine that the qualifying thresholds of the roof you choose are consistent with local building code requirements and specifications of other regulatory agencies.

* Environmental implications—Be aware that some cool roof options are contra-indicated in cool climate zones.

Partner with a Roofing Expert in Decision-Making

After familiarizing yourself with the scope of your project and the types of products available, consulting an experienced roofing specialist affords you the best opportunity to choose appropriately between the many functional options you will encounter in your research.

To learn more about cool roofing products, visit A manufacturer and provider of high-quality reflective roofing systems since 1948, Thermo Manufacturing Systems will support your project from pre-bid consultation to post-installation inspection.

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