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Roofs that have high solar reflectance and high thermal emittance stay cool in the sun. A roof with lower thermal emittance but exceptionally high solar reflectance can also stay cool in the sun. Substituting a cool roof for a noncool roof decreases cooling-electricity use, cooling-power demand, and cooling-equipment capacity requirements, while slightly increasing heating-energyconsumption. Cool roofs can also lower citywide ambient air temperature in summer, slowing ozone formation and increasing human comfort.
Provisions for cool roofs in energy-efficiency standards can promote the building- and climate appropriate use of cool roofing technologies. Cool-roof requirements are designed to reduce building energy use, while energy-neutral cool-roof credits permit the use of less energy-efficientcomponents (e.g., larger windows) in a building that has energy-saving cool roofs. Both types ofmeasures can reduce the life-cycle cost of a building (initial cost plus lifetime energy cost).
Since 1999, several widely used building energy-efficiency standards, including ASHRAE 90.1, ASHRAE 90.2, the International Energy Conservation Code, and California's Title 24 have adopted cool-roof credits or requirements. This paper reviews the technical development of coolroof provisions in the ASHRAE 90.1, ASHRAE 90.2, and California Title 24 standards, and discusses the treatment of cool roofs in other standards and energy-efficiency programs. The techniques used to develop the ASHRAE and Title 24 cool-roof provisions can be used as models to address cool roofs in building energy-efficiency standards worldwide.