Dallas' Green ‘cool Roofs' Initiative Helps City Turn Down the Heat on Urban Oven

When it's scorching hot in downtown Dallas, it can be several degrees cooler in the suburbs and relatively pleasant in rural areas.Blame it on Dallas' urban heat island effect: heat produced by densely concentrated people, vehicles and energy use.And when the city's hot, you can bet the roofs are on fire. That's why "cool roofs" are among the initiatives the city of Dallas has implemented to reduce the urban heat island effect.Cool roofs are designed to reflect, rather than absorb, the heat and can even help cool the inside of a building, according to the U.S. Green Building Council. Since 2013, the city requires all new construction in Dallas to have cool roofs as part of the Green Building Ordinance. These measures aren't just green but also cost-effective."They have the potential to reduce emissions in one of our biggest sectors — buildings and energy — in a way that cuts energy costs to the consumer," said James McGuire, director of the Dallas Office of Environmental Quality and Sustainability.New buildings in Dallas must: use roofing materials that reflect solar heat on at least 75% of the roof's surface; have a vegetated roof that covers at least 50% of the area; or use a combination of the two, according to requirements by the Green Building Council.A 2014 study found that in metropolitan areas cool roofs could help temperatures drop by about 3 degrees.  Continue reading...

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