Are Cool Roofs More Energy-Efficient In Cooler Climates?

ARMA’s Educational Sessions at RCI to Examine Eight Years of Data Comparing the Energy Efficiency of Reflective and Highly-Insulated Low Slope Roofing Systems

Washington D.C. (March 2, 2018) Roofing industry professionals can gain valuable insight on the energy-efficiency performance of cool roof coverings in northern climate zones when compared to highly insulated low-slope roofing systems during the 33rd RCI International Convention & Trade Show.

The Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association (ARMA)’s Vice President of Codes & Regulatory Compliance, Michael Fischer, will present “Onondaga County Reroofing Project: Impacts of Reflectance and Thermal Resistance” from 2 – 3:30 p.m., and again from 3:45 – 5:15 p.m. on March 25. The presentation will analyze the energy efficiency performance of various low slope roof systems with different reflectance properties and insulation thicknesses, as well as green or vegetative roofing systems. Installed at the Onondaga County Correctional Facility in Jamesville, New York on four buildings with identical roof layouts, data collected over seven years will provide a side-by-side comparison of the energy-efficiency, water retention and thermal performance of all four roofing systems:

• A conventional roof with 4 inches of polyisocyanurate foam insulation and an absorptive Ethylene Propylene Diene Monomer (EPDM) membrane
• A roof with 4 inches of polyisocyanurate foam insulation with a white reflective Thermoplastic Polyolefin (TPO) roof membrane
• A vegetative roof with 4 inches of polyisocyanurate foam insulation
• A highly-insulated roof with 8 inches of polyisocyanurate foam insulation and a reflective TPO roof membrane

“This study presented the perfect opportunity to evaluate how a cool roofing system compared to vegetative roofs and highly insulated roofing options in terms of energy efficiency,” said Fischer, a 34-year veteran of the building products industry. “Not only were we able to gauge a cool roof’s performance, but we also gained valuable insight into how all four roofing systems performed in a northern climate over time.”

The presentation will share the results of monitoring stations of all four roofing system, which recorded roof and indoor temperature data every 15-minutes throughout the seven years of the study. The presentation will show how the roof insulation R-value, roof reflectance values, and green roofing affect energy efficiency performance, and will also include a consideration of how snow melts on the different roof systems.

The 33rd RCI Convention & Trade Show runs from March 22-27 in Houston, Texas and highlights multiple building and construction industries such as roofing, waterproofing, exterior walls, repairs and new construction. The convention features over 25 hours of educational seminars, live product demonstrations and a two-day trade show with over 140 exhibitors. Registration can be found on the RCI website.


About ARMA:
The Asphalt Roofing Manufacturers Association (ARMA) is the North American trade association representing the manufacturers and suppliers of bituminous-based residential and commercial roofing products, including asphalt shingle roofing systems, roll roofing systems, built-up (BUR) roofing systems, and modified bitumen roofing systems. For more information visit, or follow us on LinkedIn, YouTube and Facebook.