Perhaps you’ve heard Energy Secretary Steven Chu talking about this, perhaps not.  But scientists having been saying for some time that if we just changed most of our black roofs to white roofs, we could reflect heat back into the atmosphere versus absorbing it and radiating it back.  This reflective quality is known as albedo (not to be confused with libido – a totally different quality associated with heat).

A great article just appeared on SmartPlanet citing a recent study by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory that confirmed those sentiments…light colored roofs do help cool the planet.

Most roofs tend to use either tar and gravel (flat roofs)

or composition shingles (peaked roofs) and all too often, they tend to be black.  Even we here at eco+historical have tended to use these roofs in the past.

But no more.

Our project house at 1566 Sanchez Street will have a new flat roof that will have both a passel of solar panels and a relatively new offering called a Cool Roof.

Our cool roof will be based upon a relatively new material that goes by the brand name WetSuit, by Triton Materials.  It’s a spray-on zero-VOC non-toxic material that is a lot like rubber – it’s what’s known as “elastomeric” – in that it can expand and contract with the seasons and not pull away from the home or crack.  In the past, other materials were used like PVC (polyvinyl chloride – made with toxic chlorine and at risk of releasing severely toxic dioxin if burned) or TPO (thermoplastic olefin – made from oil-based materials, but less toxic than PVC), but WetSuit is the first non-toxic roof coating.

Cool and non-toxic?

That’s the way go, cats.