Is a Green Roof or Cool Roof the Best Choice for Commercial Buildings?

According to knowledgeable Houston roofing company technicians, “green” and “cool” roofs are already helping cities to reduce their carbon footprint. As building owners and managers become aware of the benefits of these two roofing options, you can expect to see them being put to greater advantage throughout the city.

The surface temperature of a building’s roof can be 70 degrees higher than the temperature at street level. Parking lots, asphalt roads and rooftops contribute to the heat island effect. Cool and green roofs reduce the temperature of a rooftop by as much as 50 degrees as they stabilize the air above a building. Cool roofs and green roofs have their advantages and disadvantages.

Cool Roofs

Cool roofs are an excellent choice if you need a Houston roof replacement. They are made from materials that reflect the sun’s rays back into the atmosphere with light-colored shingles, roof tiles, coatings and paints. This reflection prevents the solar energy from baking the building and contributing to the heat island effect. Cool roofs are also equipped to gather storm water runoff and to improve the building’s insulation.

Green Roofs

Rather than reflecting the sun’s energy, green roofs absorb it before it can heat a building. These roofs are called “green” because they are completely or partially covered with a lawn, a garden or other vegetation. This plant life lowers the building’s temperature by 50 to 60 degrees. Green roofs also reduce storm water runoff. They can be installed on commercial or residential roofs that are flat or mildly sloped. If a roof requires a Houston roof repair, it can be converted to a green roof that cuts greenhouse emissions and lowers energy use. They also insulate the building in winter and improve air quality. Green roofs offer more advantages than cool roofs when considering environmental friendliness, but cool roofs remain a more effective option than a traditional roof.

Disadvantages of Green Roofs

While green roofs effectively reduce the heat island effect, they do have their drawbacks.

  • They cannot gather carbon.
  • They do not reduce water pollution.
  • Buildings may need more heat during the cold season.
  • Green roofs require an irrigation system to water the plants.
  • They must be weeded, fertilized and maintained.
  • Green roofs are very heavy.

Disadvantages of Cool Roofs

Cool roofs also have disadvantages.

  • They cause glare, which can annoy the tenants of nearby buildings.
  • Airplane pilots can also be hampered by the reflection of cool roofs.
  • Dirt, soot and stains are more visible because cool roofs are usually lighter in color.

If you are having your commercial roof replaced, or if you are building a new structure, you should consider a green or cool roof. Give Paramount Roofing a call at 713-748-4000 to discuss your roofing options.