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8 COOPERATORNEWS CHICAGOLAND  —EXPO 2021  CHICAGO.COOPERATORNEWS.COM  ENERGY & THE ENVIRONMENT  There is no overstating the dire situ-  ation that the planet finds itself in after  this climate catastrophe on the real estate  weight can the roof support?), the desires   two centuries of industrialization and the  sector. In fact, there is a certain symbiosis  of the residents (perhaps especially those   broad unwillingness of its biggest perpe-  trators to mitigate its devastating effects on  with each other: as hotter times get hot-  climate, not to mention on human health.  ter and colder times colder, more energy   The United Nations Intergovernmental  is needed to keep buildings and their resi-  Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released  dents comfortable. As weather events be-  a scathing report on August 9, 2021, detail-  ing the indisputable effects that human ac-  tivity has had on the planet—many of them  intense inspections, repairs,  and  replace-  reaching the point of irreversibility within  ments. All of this contributes to the climate  ferent options than flat roofs, so certain   the next several millennia. The most con-  sequential effects come from greenhouse   gas  emissions,  which  are  responsible  for  tions and opportunities for addressing  ings might opt for what is known as a “cool   approximately 1.1°C of warming since the  their climate impact—and many have to  roof”—a reflective surface that can be 50ºF   latter half of the 19th century, according to  do with upgrades to their roofs. Such up-  the report. Considering that a 1.5ºC warm-  ing is projected to occur over the next two  as applying a coating of white or reflective  Florham Park, New Jersey.   decades and a 2ºC warming puts the planet  paint, or as complex and costly as creating   in danger of heat extremes beyond toler-  ance thresholds for agriculture and human  top vegetable garden—but all are consid-  health, according to the IPCC, the time for  ered “green” for environmental purposes.  under 65ºF—and cooling degree days—  immediate, rapid, large-scale change is this  Each project comes with its own rationale  days over 65ºF. In areas with more cooling   second.   The World Green Building Council’s  grants and incentives, quality of life en-  2017 Global Status Report estimates that  hancements, revenue generation, commu-  buildings alone are responsible for nearly  nity-building, and property value. These  cool roof can still be a benefit, because the   40% of carbon emissions—putting much of  must be  weighed against engineering  heat absorbed by your roof can transfer   the onus for mitigation and remediation of  and structural concerns (e.g., how much   that buildings and the environment have  on the top floor), and—of course—cost.   come more frequent and intense, building  common on  high-rise  condominium or   owners must perform more frequent and  co-op buildings, low-rises or individual   crisis that imperils earth as we speak.   Fortunately,  buildings  have  great  op-  grades can be as simple and inexpensive  to American Home Contractors, based in   a communal roof deck or working roof-  in terms of potential for energy savings,  degree days, a cool roof is a no-brainer.   Know Your Roof Stats  In embarking on any roof project, the   first thing to know is what kind of roof   your building or home has. While not   HOA units with sloped roofs have dif-  ideas might be automatically  eliminated   depending on slope degree. Such build-  less than a typical asphalt roof, according   “When making the decision for a cool   roof,” says the company’s rep, “it is impor-  tant to factor in heating degree days—days   But even in a state like New Jersey, where   heating degree days are more common, a   into your home, causing a need for greater   amounts of air conditioning.” A cool roof   can reflect up to 80% of the sun’s UV rays,   according to American Home Contractors,   and is as easy as installing lighter colored   or reflective shingles, or having a cool   roof  coating  applied  to  existing  shingles.   The Department of Energy estimates that   the cost of installing a cool roof is compa-  rable to the cost of installing a traditional   roof, while applying coatings to an existing   roof surface costs between 20¢ and $1 per   square foot, depending on the type of ap-  plication.   The Addison On The Ocean Condo-  minium in Boca Raton, Florida, installed   a cool roof in 2010, when it replaced its   original roof that was then 25 years old.   According to Best Roofing, the Fort Lau-  derdale-based company that did the instal-  lation, the project took 70 days, and was   completed  on time and  on  budget.  The   company explains that the cool roof’s 15-  year warranty means that “the Addison is   still saving money on its monthly energy   bills due to the cool roof’s highly reflective   surface that reflects heat away rather than   being  absorbed  into  the  building.  Lower   building temperatures mean less energy   spent on air conditioning. In fact, the cool   roof system is so effective in lowering roof-  top temperatures that it radically reduces   energy costs and even extends the life ex-  pectancy of the roof.”   Go Green  A vegetated roof is the type one nor-  mally thinks of as “green,” and will be re-  ferred to as such in the remainder of this   story. In situations where it can be applied,   a vegetated green roof can be expected to   prolong the life of a conventional roof by   at least 20 years, according to the experts.   This is because the vegetation prevents the   roof surface from being exposed to the   sun’s ultraviolet radiation and the dete-  riorating effects of precipitation and cold   winds.  There are two basic types of green roofs:   extensive and intensive. Extensive systems   are the types with short, shallow-rooted   plants that require 2 to 4 inches of soil, 12   to 40 pounds per square foot of roof area,   and minimal maintenance. An  intensive   system, more akin to a rooftop garden, re-  quires a minimum of 6 to 12 inches of soil   Green Options to Make the Most of Your Roof  From a Coat of Paint to a Community Garden  BY DARCEY GERSTEIN  continued on page 28

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