NYC Cool Roofs Initiative (New York City, NY)

The NYC °CoolRoofs initiative encourages building owners in New York City to cool their rooftops by applying a reflective white coating that reduces energy use, cooling costs and carbon emissions. The program not only combats the urban heat island effect, it supports New York City's goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent by 2030, as outlined in PlaNYC - the City's comprehensive sustainability plan. 

NYC °CoolRoofs is a collaboration between NYC Service and the NYC Department of Buildings to promote and facilitate the cooling of New York City’s rooftops.

As of the end of 2014, NYC Cool Roofs has coated over six million square feet of building roofs with reflective paint to address the climate change risks associated with urban heat. The City’s recent green buildings plan commits to coating at least one million square feet a year more to continue mitigating the urban heat island effect and provide energy savings in affordable housing, public buildings, and non-profit organizations.

 

A Cool Roof is more than just a roof painted white. To be a Cool Roof, a roof must be treated with a specialized coating material that is lightly colored and has two unique properties: high solar reflectivity and high infrared emissivity.

Solar reflectivity expresses the degree to which a roof reflects the visible, infrared and ultraviolet rays that comprise solar energy. Surfaces with high solar reflectivity reflect more infrared and ultraviolet rays.

Infrared emissivity refers to the roof's ability to give off its absorbed heat. Highly emissive surfaces are cooler than non-emissive surfaces since they have the ability to shed more absorbed heat at a faster rate.

A Cool Roof reduces the amount of energy absorbed by the roof which helps lower a building's temperature and cuts substantial energy costs.

 

Publication Date: 2014

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