Question: We are getting a new roof installed for our business and are considering a green roof. Is this the most energy-efficient kind and will it help green our image?

Answer: While the green roof is more energy-efficient than the average traditional roof, a new study shows that white roofs are actually three times more effective than the green roof and can contribute to the environment in a super positive way!


Though the rooftop garden styled green roof on your building will bring energy efficiency in an aesthetically pleasing fashion, a new study is showing that the white roof actually provides the most benefits for both your energy bill and the environment.

By comparing the black, green and white roof, The Energy and Buildings Journal published a recent study that found that white roofs not only offer sweet savings for your building — but are also actually three times more effective than its competitors when it comes to battling the climate change.

The perks of having a white roof

Having been around since ancient times, white roofs have been benefiting buildings for centuries. Now, they fall into the ‘cool roof’ category and have been tweaked over the years, made reflective and continue to contribute to a building’s energy efficiency, improve the indoor comfort level for folks and because they reflect heat, have an extended roof service life. Not to mention having a white roof will result in a lower energy bill.

A white roof with a solar reflective coating can actually reflect up to 90 per cent of sunlight with an emittance of 100 per cent.

According to Inhabitat, the researchers of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory found that the white roof provided the costs benefits as well as prevailed when it came to fighting climate change.

“While roofs painted black absorb heat and contribute to the urban heat island effect, white roofs reflect sunlight back into the atmosphere and help cool down its lower parts,” reports Inhabitat, “The study advises those concerned with global climate change to choose white roofs.”

To serve your building and the environment, the white roof seems to be the optimal choice.

Of course the green roof is still an energy-efficient option

While the study shows that white roofs are superior when it comes to battling climate change, a green roof is still an excellent option for a building. They can be beautiful, enjoyable to visit and add much positive value to your business.

In another story about Raising the roof to energy efficiency, we talk about more benefits of the green roof. It’s a great idea for urban settings and brings a little bit of nature to the city as it reduces heating and cooling costs as well.

At the end of the day, the black, white and green roof options are all more energy-efficient than the traditional roof and will benefit your business when comparing it to the basic building toppers.

For businesses, we have an Energy Audit tool. We also offer incentives for folks getting their energy efficiency on.


Image credit: Tremco Green HQ