The EnergySmart Roof® Cool Colors Save Money and Energy

Did you know that national, independent testing has shown that Sika Roofing’s EnergySmart Roof® can reduce energy consumption, abate urban heat and help slow the reaction of smog-forming pollutants?

Sika’s EnergySmart Roof system features a White, Tan, Reflective Gray or Patina Green reflective, lacquer coated surface. These surfaces have been proven to reduce the amount of energy required to maintain comfort in an air-conditioned building by decreasing heat flow through the building envelope. “Cool roofing systems” like the EnergySmart Roof can save money, improve occupant comfort, increase a roof’s longevity, and reliably protect a building and its contents.

As the graph to the right shows1, using white, highly reflective Sarnafil roofing membrane can save significant amounts of energy, depending on the location of the roof. When compared with a black colored membrane over a period of 35 years on a roof area of 1,000 m² in Miami, white Sarnafil roofing can result in avoided carbon emissions of about 211.053 t CO₂-eq. per 1,000 m² of roof surface. Saving energy can equate to financial savings, as well; if 80% of all commercial buildings in the U.S. had cool roofs, there would be approximately $735 million in overall energy savings!2 

Leading the Way

Sika Roofing was the first single-ply membrane manufacturer to label roofing products under the EPA’s Energy Star Roof Products program. This program is a voluntary partnership between the EPA and a select group of roof product manufacturers. The focus of the program is to promote the environmental and economic benefits of reflective roofing. As a Charter Partner of the program, Sika’s EnergySmart Roof has gained much attention in the media and with well-known research institutes.

NASA Investigates the Heat Island Effect

In July of 1998, two NASA scientists, Drs. Jeff Luvall and Dale Quattrochi, conducted research to see if they could identify surfaces that exacerbate oppressive urban air temperatures and accelerate the formation of smog.

The NASA team used a specially equipped airplane to record photographic and thermal infrared images in order to detect all the “hot spots” in Salt Lake City, Utah.

NASA Heat Map

The 865,000-square-foot roof on the RC Willey Distribution Center utilizes a Sarnafil reflective roof membrane in EnergySmart White. The blue-green color of the building in the thermal image proves it is absorbing less solar radiation than the surrounding structures shown in red, yellow and orange.

Heat Map showing Energy for Buildings

The physical and reflective properties of the cool roofing membrane on the RC Willey warehouse illustrate the specific cooling impact that reflective roofs can have in reducing air temperatures within "urban heat islands."

RC Willey Warehouse in Salt Lake City, Utah. The building has a Sika Sarnafil EnergySmart Roof on it.

1. “Environment Product Declaration – Cradle-to-Grave for Sarnafil S 327

2. “The Heat Over Cool Roofs: Setting the Record Straight on Reflective Roofing”