Green Construction
Green Construction
How Do White Roofs Cut Energy Costs in Commercial Buildings?

As energy costs continue to rise, and as companies become more environmentally conscious, we’re seeing an increasing trend toward green building in the commercial construction industry.

At Leon Williams Contractors, we want to make sure we’re knowledgeable about easy, affordable ways to build in an eco-friendly manner, for our East Tennessee clients who may want to make use of those techniques.

One way more companies are incorporating “green” elements into their buildings is through the use of color. That doesn’t mean actually painting the entire building in shades of green. Rather, it means that you choose colors for elements of a building, especially on the roof, that will cut down on energy costs. And it may surprise you to learn that while dark roofs are still the dominant choice in residential and commercial building, it’s actually better to choose a light-colored roof.

Think of it this way: Let’s say you were attending an outdoor business function on a hot, sunny day, and you were required to wear a long-sleeved, button down shirt – but could choose the color of that shirt. Would your instinct be to think that a lighter color or a darker color would keep you more comfortable? A light colored shirt would reflect sunlight away from you, keeping you cooler.

Likewise, a light colored roofing material, sometimes called a “white” or “cool” roof, reflects sunlight away from a building, lowering the temperature of the roof itself, cutting indoor energy use by as much as 20 percent, and even cutting carbon dioxide emissions. In fact, a study found that if cities used reflective roofing on all their buildings, it would offset the emissions put out by all the cars in the world, for the next 18 years.

Many developers and architects still choose dark roofs for aesthetic purposes, but as you can see, the benefits of choosing a white roof are worthwhile. If you’re interested in incorporating a light-colored roof in your next commercial construction project, contact Leon Williams Contractors today to find out how we can do that for you.


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