When’s the last time you had a look up on your roof? There’s a lot more going on up there than keeping out the rain. A roof sitting in the summer sun can soak up heat like a sponge, heating up the building that the roof is supposed to protect. Extra heat costs extra money that is spent needlessly on air conditioning. The answer is cool roofing, coating the surface of a roof with material that reflects heat, keeping the roof and the building under it cool. Innovative cool roofing solutions like EPOX-Z from AMCRG (the Advanced Materials & Composites Research Group) are helping buildings save energy and save money, and creating opportunities for those distributing, selling, and using cool roofing products like this.
We waste billions of dollars every year on wasted energy, providing a business opportunity as big as the amount of money that is wasted. Energy efficiency is such a big opportunity today because overall we’ve paid little attention to it up until now. Buildings in the past were often constructed with little attention to the long term cost of operating them, resulting in high energy bills. Energy secretary Steven Chu has noted that in addition to reducing energy costs, cool roofing can also help in the fight against climate change.
The savings with cool roofing are significant, reducing cooling bills by 20% to 70% in studies of buildings where it’s already been employed, providing one strong motivation for adopting cool roofing. Savings like this ensure that the money spent on cool roofing is an investment that pays for itself, often quite quickly. Rebates, tax credits and other incentives for energy efficiency provide further financial motivation. Another motivation for cool roofing is that it is required in a growing number of states. Increasingly stringent building codes like Title 24 in California require cool roofing for many commercial buildings; other states and cities including Georgia, Arizona, Chicago, and Florida are also moving to adopt similar measures.
Cool roofing products are generally a paint-like acrylic coating that is white, or close to it, bouncing light and heat away from the roof. These products generally require multiple coats going on and the coating must be reapplied every few years to keep working.
AMCRG has developed an epoxy-based coating called EPOX-Z NRG, which uses one coat and lasts for a much longer time, saving time and money compared to other products that require multiple coats. As an epoxy, it lasts much longer than most other Acrylic-based products, but is flexible, and does not crack or shrink. It can be applied to a wide range of surfaces using the same equipment used to apply other materials, making it easy to put on and with a 33% lower installed cost than other products like the acrylic-based elastomeric cool roof coatings. EPOX-Z NRG also contains no volatile organic compounds (VOCs), unlike most products, and has been tested to meet or exceed Energy Star requirements and received provisional Energy Star Partner listing, and is ready for a roof near you.
“EPOX-Z’s proprietary formulation produces a true chemical cure,” says Tony Camarota, one of the principals of AMCRG who has developed this innovative new product. “This eliminates shrinkage, voids or pinholes and allows high build single coat application and promotes superior adhesion over the roof surface, while retaining the flexibility needed during the freeze/ thaw cycle.”
In a field like cool roofing, there are opportunities for people involved in many different ways.
For roofers, there is the opportunity to work with innovative products like AMCRG to lower costs and bring in new business.
For property managers and building owners, there is the opportunity to reduce operating costs by getting greener and more efficient.
For green businesses and others concerned about sustainability, there is the opportunity to further green their brand.
For distributors, sales people, and those in marketing, there is the opportunity to provide all aspects of the business needed to succeed.
And for innovators, there is always the opportunity to provide new and even better solutions that help us to save energy, save money, and save the planet.
Glenn Croston is the founder of StartingUpGreen.com, helping businesses to start and grow green. He is also the author of “75 Green Businesses You Can Start to Make Money and Make a Difference”, and the author of “Starting Green”, a nuts and bolts guide to starting and growing a successful green business.