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On Hottest Day of Summer, Congress Catches Up on Cool Roofs

Posted By Administration, Friday, May 11, 2012

At the end of July, the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) held a briefing for Congress on solar-reflective roofs and other cool-roofing techniques including insulation. As heat waves swept the country, the seminar provided some relief for those dreading the warmth of future summers and seeking refuge next to the closest air-conditioner.
Led by a distinguished panel of experts, the briefing addressed the huge potential for roofs to lower the surface temperature of buildings and entire cities.

Speakers at the briefing included Arthur Rosenfeld, a Scientist Emeritus of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, James L. Hoff, Research Director for the Center for Environmental Innovation in Roofing, Laurie Kerr, Senior Policy Advisor on Buildings and Energy in the Mayor's Office of Long Term Planning and Sustainability in New York City, and Kevin Kampschroer, Director of the Office of Federal High-Performance Green Buildings in the U.S. General Services Administration.

I think it is ironic – or perhaps excellent timing – that on what was one of the hottest days ever in Washington, EESI brought together such an esteemed panel of experts to inform Congress on ways that the roof can provide viable energy efficiency solutions. The panel reiterated that solutions truly are available today and that insulation and whitening roofs as part of an efficient cool roofing system.

Cool roofs provide several benefits, including:
• Lower surface temperatures for buildings
• Lower surface temperatures for entire cities
• Reduced amount of energy usage
• Reduced energy costs
• Improvements in air quality
• Improvements in air quality
• Offsetting carbon emissions

In Texas the average daily high temperature for July was 101.7 degrees. It is definitely time for some very well insulated cool roofs.

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