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NYC °CoolRoofs
Photo Credit: NYC Service
NYC °CoolRoofs

NYC °CoolRoofs, an NYC Service initiative, is a collaboration between the NYC Department of Buildings and NYC Service to promote and facilitate the cooling of New York City's rooftops. Working with non-profits, City agencies, and building owners, NYC °CoolRoofs engages volunteers in applying white, reflective surfaces to rooftops, which reduces cooling costs, cuts energy usage, and lowers greenhouse gas emissions.

How It Works
The coating used on the rooftops is highly reflective and quickly releases heat, which results in reduced absorption of solar heat leading to cooler buildings. Temperatures within the building can be reduced by up to 30 percent, cutting cooling-related electricity costs in warmer months. By regulating rooftop temperatures, the coating also helps to extend the life of rooftops as well as cooling equipment. In addition to the immediate benefits for the coated buildings, white rooftops reduce temperature in the surrounding areas and combat the Urban Heat Island Effect-the warming effect experienced in cities when paved areas prevent evaporative cooling processes, and dark surfaces, such as asphalt, absorb solar heat, increasing average ambient temperatures by up to five degrees. Coating all eligible rooftops in New York City could mitigate this effect by up to one degree.

Reducing Emissions
In addition to lowering temperatures and energy savings, cool roofs can reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and air pollution. Every 2,500 square feet of coated roof area can reduce New York City's carbon footprint by one ton of emissions and bring New York City closer to reaching its PlaNYC goal to reduce GHG emissions by 30 percent by 2030. With every coated roof that reduces energy consumption, New York City will also reduce air pollution associated with electricity generation. Both lower emissions and cleaner air from cool roofs will improve quality of life and make New York City a greener and greater place to live.

By the Numbers
Since 2009, the program has engaged over 5,000 volunteers, including corporate groups, green jobs trainees, and independent citizen volunteers, coated more than 5 million square feet of rooftops throughout the city. The program also provides hands-on experience to green jobs trainees.

For more details and information on how to get involved, visit NYC °CoolRoofs

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