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  • Trent Bryant

Austin Touchstone Builders - Model Home - Solar White Metal Roof Complete

What Is Cool Metal Roofing? Definition & Uses

Cool metal roofing is defined as painted or coated metal products that reflect the sun’s energy to dissipate heat. Cool roofs help to reduce the heat that is transferred into the building, which can result in total cooling cost energy savings ranging from 7% to 15%, according to the Green Building Alliance.

In fact, cool metal roofing doesn’t have anything to do with the metal substrate itself – it’s solely dependent on the paint or coating system that is applied to the substrate during the manufacturing process. The cool PVDF paint/resin formula (formulated by Sherwin-Williams or another paint supplier) contains innovative solar reflective pigments, which is the key differentiator.

The Benefits of Cool Metal Roofing

Cool metal roofing has many benefits beyond savings on energy costs. It’s commonly specified because it helps to reduce the urban heat island effect, which is defined as:

“Built-up areas that are hotter than nearby rural areas. Heat islands can affect communities by increasing summertime peak energy demand, air conditioning costs, air pollution/greenhouse gas emissions, heat-related illness and mortality, and water quality.”

Many urban areas have buildings and infrastructure made of concrete, which is why cities are sometimes referred to as “concrete jungles.” The problem with concrete is that it absorbs heat and retains that warmth for more extended periods and therefore keeps its surroundings warmer than places without as much concrete.

Beyond the heat island effect, cool roofing can help reduce the electricity demand, which reduces potential power outages and blackouts. The push for building materials that reduced energy consumption, including cool roofing, was made a priority in response to the 2003 Northeast U.S. blackout.

In conjunction with lower energy consumption, cool roofing can help reduce “power plant emissions, including carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, nitrous oxides, and mercury, by reducing cooling energy use in buildings,” according to the U.S. Department of Energy.

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