When is the last time you picked up a paper and did NOT read something about going “green?” If you’re anything like me, words like “green,” energy efficiency, and sustainable building practices are now common phrases used in most major media sources. But the big questions remain, why go “green”? How can I go “green”? How can going “green” save me money?
There are countless advantages to making your business “green” and more energy efficient. Energy/financial savings, environmental benefits, marketing benefits, lower absenteeism, higher employee satisfaction- – the list goes on and on! In fact, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) supports that green buildings consume 26% less energy, have 13% lower maintenance costs, have 27% higher occupant satisfaction and have 33% less greenhouse gas emissions. With tremendous savings like that, you’re not the only business owner considering the advantages of going “green.”
Wind farms and solar arrays are common subjects in news headlines and popular ways to go “green.” You might even hear or read something on metal sunscreens and garden roofing or green roofs as other alternatives to going “green.” While these popular applications are terrific ways for your business to become energy efficient, they certainly aren’t the only ways for your building to go “green.” Your roof is commonly overlooked with regards to adding to your energy savings. Did you know that by adding a white roof or white roof membrane you can trim your energy costs by up to 20%??
The Benefits of Energy Efficient Roofing
There are many benefits to installing a white roof membrane or white coating to your commercial building but first, let’s take a step back to discuss how a white roof works. The concept is quite simple. As sunlight beams down through the atmosphere, nearly half of the energy is converted to light and this light is what hits our rooftops. With a standard dark-colored roof, the sunlight converts directly to heat causing the internal and external temperatures of your building to rise. White roofs diminish this heating effect by reflecting the sunlight back and not absorbing it as heat.
A white, or cool, roof is measured by two properties: reflectance (ability of the roof material to reflect light energy away from the roof) and thermal emittance (ability of the roof material to deflect absorbed heat). Ideally you want your roof to be high in both. You also want your roof to maintain a high SRI (Solar Reflectance Index). The Heat Island Group recommends an SRI rating of 30% or higher for sloped roofs and 70% or higher for flat roofs. Reflective roofing and energy efficient roofing helps to achieve this.
So, how can white roofing save you money and positively impact the environment? Installing energy efficient roofing such as a white roof or white roof coating may reduce your energy bills, use less non-renewable sources (i.e. coal and natural gas) and reduce your carbon footprint. In some states, white, or cool, roofs can qualify you for green rebates and tax breaks. So, save green by going white! Install your white roof today and save money for many years to come.