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Reflective Roofs on the Rise


Demand is growing for reflective or “cool” roof products that meet standards for performance while also being extremely energy efficient. Such roofs can also help reduce the “heat island” effect, a phenomenon by which heat stored in dark materials that absorb heat from the sun is released at night, causing air temperature to remain high. One way to qualify a reflective roof is to look for the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ENERGY STAR label.

The designation certifies that the membrane is a reflective roof product that will lower the roof surface temperature up to 100 F, thereby decreasing the amount of heat transferred into a store’s interior. While ENERGY STAR specifications aren’t restricted to any particular type of roof, metal, single-ply membrane and roof-coating products are the most widely represented.

According to ENERGY STAR, qualified reflective-roof products offer a number of benefits, including:

Geographic location and climate, existing building insulation levels, the type of roof installed and how well it is maintained will all impact exactly how much a business will save with a reflective roof.

In general, building owners will save money on energy bills by installing a qualified reflective roof if their building has high air-conditioning bills, a large roof surface (as compared to the building’s overall size), lower levels of insulation, and is located in a hot, sunny climate.

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