- 1. What information can the CRRC give me relating to energy codes?
Two primary organizations, the International Code Council (ICC) and the American Society of Heating Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) have developed National Model Energy Codes. These codes are not mandatory or enforceable until a jurisdiction adopts them as part of regulation or law. In the U.S., many states and jurisdictions have adopted these organizations’ codes, while others like California and the City of Chicago have developed their own.
California’s Title 24
The California Energy Commission’s Building Energy Efficiency Standard, Title 24, includes a cool roof prescription for low-slope (less than 2:12) and steep-slope (graeter than 2:12) nonresidential, high-rise residential, and residential roofs for new construction and major re-roofing. Section 10-113 requires that cool roofs be tested and labeled by the Cool Roof Rating Council.
Title 24 defines a cool roof as any roofing product with a minimum three-year aged solar reflectance of 0.63 when tested in accordance with CRRC-1, a minimum three-year aged thermal emittance greater than or equal to 0.75 when tested in accordance with CRRC-1, and a minimum SRI of 75 for low-sloped roofs. For steep-sloped roofs, minimum aged solar reflectance is 0.20, minimum aged thermal emitance is 0.75, and minimum SRI is 16. For more details, visit http://coolroofs.org/resources/california-title-24.
Cool roofs are not a mandatory measure for Title 24. Nonresidential buildings with low-sloped roofs can comply by choosing one of the following compliance options: the Performance Approach, the Envelope Component Approach or the Overall Envelope Approach (the latter two are under the larger umbrella, Prescriptive Approach). Depending on which option is chosen, a cool roof may or may not be necessary for compliance.
City of Chicago
The Chicago Energy Conservation Code includes a requirement for cool roofs as a way to mitigate the Urban Heat Island Effect.
International Energy Conservation Code (IECC)
The International Energy Conservation Code is a national model energy code produced by the International Code Council (ICC). The code contains minimum energy efficiency provisions for residential and commercial buildings, offering both prescriptive- and performance-based approaches. The 2003 and 2006 versions of the IECC reference ASHRAE 90.1.
ASHRAE Standards 90.1 and 90.2
The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) maintains energy standards to define acceptable performance levels.
ASHRAE Standard 90.1 (2004 edition)
Energy Standard for Buildings Except Low-Rise Residential Buildings, section 188.8.131.52, allows reduced roof insulation (U-factor) if a cool roof is used. ASHRAE 90.1 defines a cool roof as having a minimum solar reflectance of 0.70 and minimum thermal emittance of 0.75. This allowance is permitted in climate zones 1, 2, and 3 only.
ASHRAE Standard 90.2 (2004 edition)
Energy Efficient Design of Low-Rise Residential Buildings, section 5.5, also allows for reduced roof insulation with a cool roof, but sets the minimum solar reflectance at 0.65 or allows an SRI value of 75. SRI is a calculation measured from 0 to 100, using solar reflectance and thermal emittance, defined by ASTM E1980. Section 5.5 also states that values for solar reflectance and thermal emittance shall be determined by a laboratory accredited by a nationally recognized organization, citing the Cool Roof Rating Council as an example. This allowance is permitted in climate zones one, two and three only.
ASHRAE also produces Advanced Energy Design Guides, which include the Advanced Energy Design Guide for Small Office Buildings and Advanced Energy Design Guide for Small Retail. These guides provide energy-efficiency measures that can be directly applied depending on the project and will reduce energy use compared to ASHRAE Standard 90.1-1999. In climate zones 1, 2, and 3, which cover the southern states of the U.S., the design guide includes a suggestion for cool roofs and references the CRRC Product Rating Program.
- 2. Does the CRRC have information on additional energy resources?
The following websites provide users with an initial perspective on what codes a given state or jurisdiction has adopted. It should be noted that compliance is the responsibility of the building owner and that the local jurisdiction should be contacted to confirm the code(s) that are adopted and in effect.
Energy Codes Ocean Online Code Environment & Advocacy Network
Energy Codes Ocean, previously the Building Codes Assistance Project, provides visual overviews of state energy code adoptions for both residential and commercial codes in the form of interactive maps of the U.S.
Department of Energy (DOE)
The Department of Energy maintains a building energy code program that includes an interactive map of the United States that allows users to check the status of energy codes in any state by simply clicking on the state(s) in which they are interested.
- 3. Can the CRRC tell me about cool roof rebate programs in my area?
Several electric utility companies offer rebates for the installation of cool roofing materials in new construction and/or roof retrofits. Please check with your local utility to find out if there are cool roof rebates in your area. Visit http://coolroofs.org/resources/rebates-and-codes for more detailed rebate information.
- 4. Does the CRRC or Title 24 accept ENERGY STAR ratings?
No, the CRRC requires independent testing which must be performed by a CRRC accredited laboratory. ENERGY STAR ratings were accepted for Title 24 compliance in the past, but are no longer; products must be rated with the CRRC.
- 5. What is the CRRC's relationship to California Energy Commission's Building Energy Code, Title 24?
The CRRC has been referenced by Title 24 as the supervisory entity for solar reflectance and thermal emittance data that Title 24 accepts for compliance. In order to be considered a "cool roof product" for Title 24 compliance, the product must be rated with the CRRC in addition to meeting other Title 24 requirements. Please visit the CEC website for additional requirement information: www.energy.ca.gov/title24.
- 6. What is a green building program? Can the CRRC tell me about some different green building programs?
Green building is a growing trend in American architecture. To provide guidance on what makes a building “green,” several organizations have developed voluntary guidelines and certification programs. Some jurisdictions have adopted these green building programs as mandatory requirements. For example, New York City requires that many of the city’s new municipal buildings meet LEED requirements. Several other jurisdictions, including Seattle and Atlanta, have adopted similar measures.
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) is the US Green Building Council’s Green Building Rating System, a voluntary certification program for sustainable buildings. Under LEED Version 4, the following rating systems award up to 2 points for heat island reduction, including options for using cool roofs, under the Sustainable Sites Credit: Building Design and Construction (BD+C), Building Operations and Maintenance (O+M), Neighborhood Development (ND), and Homes. LEED Interior Design and Construction (ID+C) awards up to 1 point under Innovation: Heat island reduction. To read more about the options and requirements for each rating system, visit http://coolroofs.org/resources/leed.
Green Globes V.2 Rating System is a questionnaire-based green building rating system, which allots up to 1000 points for different measures in several categories. Under the “Energy” category, up to 6 points can be earned for using high albedo, or “cool” roof surfacing. To earn this credit, Green Globes requires 40% or more of the exposed roof surface to either be a vegetated roof surface or use roofing materials with a Solar Reflectance Index (SRI) value greater than or equal to 78 for low-slope roofs or 29 for steep-slope roofs, in Climate Zones 1 through 5.
- 7. What roof rating programs are out there?
Roof rating programs provide a source of radiative performance data for roofing products, as well as a means of exploring and comparing different roofing options. There are currently two nationally recognized roof rating programs in the United States: the Cool Roof Rating Council's Product Rating Program and the Environmental Protection Agency's ENERGY STAR Reflective Roof program.
The Cool Roof Rating Council
The Cool Roof Rating Council maintains a credible and unbiased third-party rating program for measuring and reporting the radiative properties of roof surfaces. The CRRC publishes the measured solar reflectance and thermal emittance values in their online Rated Products Directory and on CRRC Product Labels for use by roof specifiers, code officials, architects, contractors, engineers, and building owners. Radiative property values are measured by CRRC Accredited
Independent Testing Laboratories, not by manufacturers (this excludes Custom Colors for factory-applied metal coatings, which be measured by CRRC Accredited Manufacturing Testing Laboratories). The CRRC does not define what is “cool” or set minimum requirements. Any roofing product may be listed on the CRRC Directory with its respective measured values when rated in compliance with the CRRC Product Rating Program Manual (CRRC-1). Using the online Rated Products Directory, interested parties can search through a comprehensive list of ratings and narrow their results to products that meet their project criteria.
The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ENERGY STAR Reflective Roof program is complementary to the CRRC Product Rating Program. Manufacturers can choose to rate their products with ENERGY STAR as long as they meet ENERGY STAR’s minimum specifications. The ENERGY STAR program accepts either ratings provided from the manufacturer’s own testing or ratings from the CRRC Product Rating Program.