Building to Save Money by Saving Energy
The Department of Energy's (DOE's) Headquarters West Building has completed the installation of a new cool roof. There was no incremental cost to adding the cool roof as part of the roof replacement project and it will save taxpayers $2,000 every year in building energy costs. Cool roofs use lighter-colored roofing surfaces or special coatings to reflect more of the sun's heat, helping improve building efficiency, reduce cooling costs, and offset carbon emissions. The cool roof and increased insulation at the facility were installed as part of the federal government's commitment to lead by example in increasing energy efficiency, reducing carbon pollution and demonstrating the benefits of clean energy technologies.
The Department of Energy also released today a video (see below) with Secretary Chu that shows the installation of the roof and explains some of the benefits that come with this important technology.
Roofs and road pavement cover 50 to 65% of urban areas. Most traditional dark-colored roofing materials absorb 80 to 90% of incoming solar energy, increasing temperatures on the surface and in the case of roofing, heating the building, which in turn requires additional air conditioning. White or special "cool color" roofs absorb less than 50% of solar energy, reducing the roof temperature and decreasing the energy used in air conditioning.
A dark roof can reach temperatures above 180F on a hot day, while a cool roof can stay 50 degrees cooler. A study by researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) found that using cool roofs and cool pavements in cities around the world can help reduce the demand for air conditioning, cool entire cities, and potentially cancel the heating effect of up to two years of worldwide carbon dioxide emissions. (DOE)
Consumers can find Energy Star cool roofing products for homes and businesses at EnergyStar.gov.