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Cool Roofing For All

While the green building movement is making great progress most buildings still waste a great deal of energy, often through the roof. When the sun beats down on a roof it can heat up the rest of the building as well, making air conditioners pump the heat out again.  Luckily we already have solutions available today for this problem, creating cool roofs using membranes, coatings, or other materials that reflect light and heat.

While the green building movement is making great progress most buildings still waste a great deal of energy, often through the roof. When the sun beats down on a roof it can heat up the rest of the building as well, making air conditioners pump the heat out again.  Luckily we already have solutions available today for this problem, creating cool roofs using membranes, coatings, or other materials that reflect light and heat. Installing cool roofs can reduce roof temperatures as much as 100 degrees F, and businesses installing these cool roofs help people save money and do the right thing for the environment at the same time.

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Providing further support for cool roofing, several states are starting to require cool roofing as part of their building standard. In California Title 24 building standards now require cool roofs on new commercial rooftops, and on significant repairs of existing rooftops. This requirement is being expanded in 2009 to start to include residential rooftops as well. The Cool Roof Rating Council helps test and certify cool roofing material, and provides information about the cool roofing industry.

Michael Magallanes is the VP of Sales for CCJJ LLC in specialty building materials, which produces Coat ‘N’ Cool coatings that reflect light and heat, keeping roofs cool. Applied like paint, their products come in a variety of colors and by keeping the roof cool they can also help roofs and HVAC equipment to last longer, providing further savings.

How can an entrepreneur get into the cool roofing market? Wait long enough and the cool roofing market will come to you. In California, this is already happening. As Magallanes says, when the government mandates cool roofing “most roofing contractors would automatically be in the cool roofing business whether they like it or not.” The list of states that require cool roofing in at least some buildings is growing, including requirements in Texas, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and several others.

By getting into cool roofing today roofers can become well established in the growing market being created. Magallanes suggests “The best step to take is to be proactive and start using cool roof materials now to get in and stay ahead of the game. Join the Cool Roof Rating Council. Join the US Green Build Council (www.usgbs.org). Consider becoming a LEED AP through the USGBC. Build a green portfolio that will pay big dividends in the future.”

The benefits of cool roofs are significant, and another example of turning a problem into a rapidly growing opportunity for businesses to both do well and do the right thing.

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About the author

Glenn Croston is the author of "75 Green Businesses" and "Starting Green", and the founder of Starting Up Green, helping green businesses to get started and grow.

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