Long and Short Term Energy Savings of Cool Roofs

A building with a dark colored roof will consume more energy for air conditioning than a “cooler” building – a strain on both operating costs and the electric power grid. Cool roofs offer both immediate and long-term savings in building energy costs.

In a 2001 federal study, “Measured Energy Savings and Demand Reduction from a Reflective Roof Membrane on a Large Retail Store in Austin,” the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) measured and calculated the reduction in peak energy demand associated with the surface reflectivity of a vinyl roof on a retail building in Austin, Texas.

Instruments measured weather conditions on the roof, temperatures inside the building and throughout the roof layers, and air conditioning and total building power consumption. Measurements were taken with the original black rubber roofing membrane and then after replacement with a white vinyl roof with the same insulation and HVAC systems in place.

LBNL found that the average daily summertime temperature of the black roof surface was 168 F, but once retrofitted with a white reflective roofing surface; it measured 125 F, a decrease of 43 F.

In conjunction with that, LBNL found that, compared to the original black membrane, the retrofitted white roofing membrane delivered an 11 percent decrease in aggregate air conditioning energy consumption, and a corresponding 14 percent drop in peak hour demand. Without considering any tax benefits or other utility charges, the cool roofing system helped reduce the building's annual energy expenditures by $7,200 or $0.07/sq. ft.

Sustainability Case Studies

Carnegie Mellon
Carnegie Mellon Library
Carver Hawkeye Roof
Carver Hawkeye
Artique Farms Case Study
Artique Farms
Case Study: Hawaii Beach Front
Hawaii Beach Front
Powell Hospital
Powell Hospital


Durability Vinyl Roofs

PVC roofing membranes can stand up to some of the toughest stresses and have been proven to support and protect roofs throughout the world. Learn more about this durable, high-performance roofing solution »


Aesthetics Vinyl Roofs

PVC membranes' aesthetic qualities make them the choice for any roof design. Find out why PVC is recommended for projects with aesthetic considerations here »

  • Cool Roof Resource Center

    Scientifically backed information on the benefits of cool roofs.

  • Sustainability News

    Cool Roof Clearinghouse Launched
    Download full document [30 KB]

    Recycling To Be Priority of Vinyl Roofing Industry
    Download full document [64 KB]

  • Customer Testimonial

    “I couldn’t be happier with the Duro-Last vinyl roof,” said Chris Cooper, Powell's facility manager. “It looks great with its new durable, virtually maintenance-free roofing system.”