White roofs to make for cooler Melbourne buildings

Jan 25, 2012

The research assesses the benefits of white roofs and aims to help residential, commercial and industrial building owners determine if white roofs are suitable for their buildings and guide them through the best materials to use.

Lord Mayor Robert Doyle said Council had already put the research into practice by trialling a white roof on its ArtPlay building.

"There has been a lot of talk about the benefits of white roofs and we commissioned the University of Melbourne to undertake this research so we could get a local perspective on how white roofs can work in our city," the Lord Mayor said.

Councillor Cathy Oke, Chair of the Future Melbourne (Eco-City) Committee said commercial buildings in the City of Melbourne would benefit most from this tool.

"White roofs can cool commercial buildings by three per cent on hot days, which helps reduce the effect and improve the health of city users," Cr Oke said.

Dr Dominique Hes, a senior lecturer at the University of Melbourne in and lead author of the research explained that when painted white, roofs are able to reflect heat away from the building rather than absorbing it.

"Reflective white paint on commercial building roofs reduces the energy used to cool the building. Melbourne's CBD has over 3,500,000m2 of lettable commercial space. If the roofs of these buildings were painted white, the city could in theory reduce its CO2 emissions by 4.5 million MJ per year, 1.5 million kilos of CO2 or 3 million black balloons," Dr Hes said.

"White roofs are a low cost solution in making buildings more sustainable, particularly for our older buildings. And if our air conditioners are not working as hard, there are financial benefits for buildings owners as well."

The research monitored the temperatures of five test buildings at the University of Melbourne's Burnley Campus for their performance with and without white coatings. The buildings with experienced significantly cooler temperatures, both on the exterior and interior.

To access information about white roof benefits and available products, visit www.1200buildings.com.au or talk to your local paint provider.

Explore further: Electromobility, efficient and safe: Visio.M consortium presents new electric car

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Cool roofs really can be cool

Nov 04, 2011

A recent Journal of Climate paper by Stanford’s Mark Jacobson and John Ten Hoeve (2011) on urban heat islands and cool roofs is a useful contribution to the literature. However, their results regarding white roofs ...

Recommended for you

First-of-a-kind supercritical CO2 turbine

Oct 20, 2014

Toshiba Corporation today announced that it will supply a first-of-a-kind supercritical CO2 turbine to a demonstration plant being built in Texas, USA. The plant will be developed by NET Power, LLC, a U.S. venture, together w ...

Drive system saves space and weight in electric cars

Oct 17, 2014

Siemens has developed a solution for integrating an electric car's motor and inverter in a single housing. Until now, the motor and the inverter, which converts the battery's direct current into alternating ...

Dispelling a misconception about Mg-ion batteries

Oct 16, 2014

Lithium (Li)-ion batteries serve us well, powering our laptops, tablets, cell phones and a host of other gadgets and devices. However, for future automotive applications, we will need rechargeable batteries ...

Turning humble seaweed into biofuel

Oct 16, 2014

The sea has long been a source of Norway's riches, whether from cod, farmed salmon or oil. Now one researcher from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) researcher hopes to add seaweed ...

User comments : 0