Professor Pushes for White Roofs

Canadian Professor, Hashem Akbari is lobbying for roofing modifications to fight climate change. Hashem Akbari is a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Montreal’s Concordia University. He said that installing a white or cool roof that would not absorb as much heat as a standard roof is the key element to fighting global warming. “Cool roofs save you energy if your building is air-conditioned. If the building needs air-condition, installing a cool roof may actually solve your problem and you may not need it” he said.

Change to White Roof

When you are changing your roof, have your roof contractor use white or light color roofing materials he suggests. Light colored materials reflect the suns rays rather than absorbing them. Pavements and roofs account for more than 60% of urban surfaces trapping the suns heat and contributing to the heat island.

Replacing traditional roofs and roads with white or light color materials would yield a cooling benefit that over 50 years would be equivalent to reduction of 25 to `150 billion tons of carbon dioxide researchers said. When you improve the air quality within the city you cool the globe.

According to the EPA “The term “heat island” describes built up areas that are hotter than nearby rural areas. The annual mean air temperature of a city with 1 million people or more can be 1.8–5.4°F (1–3°C) warmer than its surroundings. In the evening, the difference can be as high as 22°F (12°C). Heat islands can affect communities by increasing summertime peak energy demand, air conditioning costs, air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions, heat-related illness and mortality, and water quality.”

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