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Are Cool Roofs Cool Yet?

Meier1 architecture
If every building had an energy-efficient  roof, we would be able to cool the surrounding areas and reduce heating and cooling costs inside the building. That is the reasoning behind a California law  requiring light reflective roofs on all new buildings.

It is already the law for new flat roofs here, and information is available on rating coolroofing here.

Here, architect Richard Meier and his partner Michael Palladino have apparently created a design to go one further. It’s entirely white; roofs, walls, and interiors.

Meier2 architecture
So this luxury design of a cool  and airy Southern California beach house is glamorous and climate friendly.
Meier3 architecture

Well, no.

The McMansion-sized size of the thing at  4,280-sq.-ft is not so planet friendly; because it takes more energy to heat and cool a larger space. But this house would be well suited for a ground heat exchange to passively heat and cool itself with 55 degree air cooled from 10  feet under the ground.

As architects in California get closer to 2020, they will need to think more about passive cooling and heating and zero energy houses, because by 2020 – every new building must be zero energy by then.

Incorporate solar roofing on the white roof, and this could be a zero energy house.

Meier4 architecture

The blue of solar panels would visually extend right out to the ocean. (And conceal that horrible mess of  mechanical contraptions on that roof.) White elastomeric coolroofing under the solar panels would help cool the modules; making them more efficient on hot days.

So with 2020 and its energy efficiency and zero energy requirements almost upon us, are architects thinking about the energy efficiency of white roofs and solar panels for energy yet?

“The beams at the roof, located above the horizontal framing, express the structural rhythm and layering of components,” explains the architect. “This cadence is repeated with the joinery of the painted aluminum exterior wall panels and modular windows. The mass of the exterior plaster walls are juxtaposed to the transparent glazed facades, creating a mosaic of layered materials.”

Blah, blah, blah…

Image: Richard Meier
Source: Greenbuildingelements
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One comment so far to “Are Cool Roofs Cool Yet?”
  1. Masaya Kasal Says:

    Mount your brooms!

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