Green Guide

White is the new Green: Paint roofs white to save energy

white roofs 1
Researchers all over the world are coming up with various suggestions to help tackle the global warming. Accordingly, the US Energy Secretary Steven Chu proposes to paint the roofs in white that will reflect the sunlight and ultimately, may result into overall cooling of the planet. He, addressing the symposium on climate change in London, further added that this would keep the buildings cooler. In addition, we can paint roads and vehicles with the intention that such measures would deliver similar results. This geo-engineering technique is a viable solution to the power-crunch the whole faces now. The Nobel laureate further recommended that lesser demand for energy would lead to a slash in its generation.

We have to go to a different new revolution that can severely decrease the amount of carbon emissions in the generation of energy.

– Says the US Energy Secretary

White is the new Green

coolroofs sri

Image Credit: Heat Island

Thermodynamics prove the same too. Buildings with light-colored roofing materials better reflect sunlight and significantly reduce the peak roof temperatures. Light-colored roof coatings and membranes can therefore be a critical component of a proactive roof maintenance program that results in lower lifetime roof temperatures during sunny periods. The lower temperatures, in turn, reduce the air conditioning loads of the building and results into peak load reductions and net annual energy savings are realized. Because of their high emissivity and their ability to maintain low surface temperature, cool roofs have a well-documented ability to combat the urban heat island effect. Contrarily, heat-retaining surfaces result into 6 to 8 degrees Fahrenheit increase in temperature in urban areas.

So, it’s but imperative that light-color-painted roofs, vehicles and other objects are sure to contribute in cooling down this earth.

White: Hard on eye?

Yes, white reflects more since it reproduces all the wavelengths of visible light that is falling on it and thus, causes unease. So, the soft colors may be deployed to avoid heat absorption. Cool colors are a better solution to it. Taking a cue from what Steven Chu proposes, municipal and state agencies across the nation are considering mandating its use as a matter of policy.

Green is ahead of times, already:
greece white buildings
Houses in Greece are traditionally covered with a layer of plaster (Sovas in Greek), made out of calcium carbonate or limestone. Adding a bit of blue color in the whitewash breaks the brightness. Blue is more common since a cleaning agent called “loulaki” literally “lilac” with a distinctive blue color is added. The obvious reason is that white or more light-colors counter global warming with “negative radiative forcing“. On top of it, retrofitting urban roofs and pavements in hot and moderate regions with solar-reflective materials is capable of offsetting about 44 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide annually.

Dr Prem Jagyasi

Dr Prem is an award winning strategic leader, renowned author, publisher and highly acclaimed global speaker. Aside from publishing a bevy of life improvement guides, Dr Prem runs a network of 50 niche websites that attracts millions of readers across the globe. Thus far, Dr Prem has traveled to more than 40 countries, addressed numerous international conferences and offered his expert training and consultancy services to more than 150 international organizations. He also owns and leads a web services and technology business, supervised and managed by his eminent team. Dr Prem further takes great delight in travel photography.

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