The urban heat island effect refers to the temperature increase in urban areas due to the dense population of buildings absorbing heat from the sun more than the natural, reflective and permeable structures that make up rural areas. It is because of this heat increase that over the past decade multiple metropolitan areas have enacted strategies to try and decrease the effects of urban heating. With the Los Angeles area being the second largest urban region in the US with the highest heat island effect, California has become a leader in creating “cool communities” that use cool roofs, pavements, wall and urban vegetation measures.
In 2015, Los Angeles became the first major city to mandate cool roofs for new residential construction projects. The Los Angeles Cool Roof ordinance intends to help the city:
- Become more resilient and healthier on hot days
- Reduce heat-related hospitalizations
- Improve air quality by reducing the formation of ozone
- Inoculate against power outages
- Reduce homeowners’ electricity bills
- Reduce greenhouse gas emissions
- Provide a more pleasant home environment
Cool roofs reflect more sunlight and absorb less heat than a standard roof, saving energy and money by using less air conditioning.
In an interview with Osama Younan, the Division Chief with the Department of Building Safety, we dive deeper into the implementation, legislation and reasoning behind cool roofs in California.
3M™ Cool Roofing granules are based on a patented technology by 3M and are available in a wide variety of rich colors that can create the perfect shingle color blend. There are three key benefits that solidify 3M cool roofing granules as not only a smart, but conscientious building choice in cool roofing:
1. The granules increase reflectivity, which increases your cost savings in year round cooling climates
2. Choosing a cool roof can be a smart choice for the environment by helping decrease the effects of urban heating
3. Shingles incorporating cool granules can to meet California Title 24 building code or Energy Star® requirements
“A cool roof is one that has been designed to reflect more sunlight and absorb less heat than a standard roof. Cool roofs can be made of a highly reflective type of paint, a sheet covering, or highly reflective tiles or shingles.”
Senior Technical Service Engineer
3M Industrial Mineral Products Division