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Cool Roofs in Perspective: Not Just Black and White

In recent years, the use of "cool roofs" with highly reflective, usually white, surfaces has grown dramatically in every part of the country, primarily due to their potential for cutting air conditioning costs and reducing the urban heat island effect. "Cool" roofs are undoubtedly a breakthrough technology and when used correctly are capable of saving enormous amounts of energy and reducing carbon emissions. However, a perception has grown that they are the best answer for every roof everywhere, and like most panaceas, the reality is proving to be more complex. As "cool" roofs are used more widely, the unintended negative consequences of "cool" roofs in cool climates, or without adequate insulation, or without informed design, are also growing. This course explores the major issues involved, putting the use of "cool" roofs into the perspective of recent research and experience, and showing exactly where and how "cool" roofs can be a major part of the solution, and where they may actually be less energy efficient and sustainable than traditional dark roofing systems.

Learn At Your Own Pace:

You can take this course and follow along at your own pace. Speed up, slow down, or stop now and finish later. Click "Take the Course Test" to go straight to the test and earn your credits. You'll know immediately if you have earned credits and you will be able to print out your certificate of completion instantly.

Learning Objectives

At the end of this course you will be able to:

  • Explain the basic properties of “cool” roofs and how their impact on energy and carbon savings can vary by climate, site, building type and building design.
  • Evaluate the potential for moisture problems and other unintended negative consequences related to the use of “cool” roofs in the wrong conditions.
  • Compare the energy savings and environmental performance of “cool” white roofs and dark EPDM roofs.
  • Analyze the significant factors involved in sustainable, energy-efficient roof selection and design.

AIA logo Credits: 1.25 HSW

Course Outline:

This course is a presentation designed to earn you 1.25 AIA/CES Learning Unit. Use the onscreen controls to pace the presentation to your liking, and then click "Take the Course Test" to take the exam for this course and earn your credit.

 
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