Beginning January 17, 2022, the CRRC began offering product ratings for companies interested in having their exterior wall products listed and labeled with information about the product’s surface radiative performance (solar reflectance and thermal emittance). The ratings are published on the CRRC Rated Wall Products Directory and CRRC Product Labels.
Any exterior wall product can be rated as long as it is in compliance with the CRRC-2 Wall Product Rating Program Manual. This document contains the details for program participation and the detailed requirements for the testing, weathering, and rating of exterior wall materials.
The ratings enable end users to identify eligible products for compliance with various codes and programs that require or promote the use of cool exterior walls for reducing building energy use and/or mitigating the urban heat island effect.
In order for wall products to be rated, the company must first become a CRRC Licensee in the Wall Product Rating Program. Visit the Become a Licensee: Wall Program page for more information.
All radiative property testing is conducted by Accredited Independent Testing Laboratories (AITL) in accordance with the applicable CRRC-approved test methods:
CRRC Test Method #1
CRRC Directional-Hemispherical Solar Reflectance Test Method
After initial testing of a product sample (set of test specimens), the sample is sent to a CRRC Approved Test Farm where it will be exposed to outdoor weathering for three years. Outdoor exposure occurs at CRRC Approved Test Farms in three designated locations in the United States that collectively represent the average U.S. climate: Arizona (hot/dry), Ohio (cold/temperate), and Florida (hot/humid). After three years of field exposure, the weathered specimens are sent back to an AITL for aged testing.
Rated wall products are listed on the Rated Wall Products Directory. A product's placement on the Directory does not mean that the product is "cool," as defined by any particular code, standard, or program.
Licensees are permitted to use the CRRC Rated Wall Product Label to display the rated values on a product’s packaging. Visit the Using the Label: Wall Program page for details.
The CRRC Rated Wall Product Label aids with compliance with building codes and programs that require wall products to meet specific radiative performance levels for the reduction of energy use, greenhouse gas emissions, and/or helping mitigate the urban heat island effect.
NOTE: Participation in the CRRC Wall Product Rating Program is separate and distinct from CRRC Membership. To learn more about becoming a member, please go to Become A Member.
Some industries, such as factory-coated metal and architectural coatings (i.e. paint), have thousands of colors that may be offered for a particular exterior wall product, which makes it cost-prohibitive to seek individual product ratings for every color. Wall Licensees that manufacture factory-coated metal and architectural coatings have the option to establish Color Family Groups and obtain product ratings at a discounted rate. For more information, visit the Rate a Wall Product page and see the CRRC-2 Wall Product Rating Program Manual.
Validation Testing will provide quality assurance of the Rated Wall Products Directory by routinely verifying that a product’s rated values reflect what is sold in the marketplace. On a rolling basis, a selection of active rated products on the Rated Wall Products Directory will undergo Validation Testing. The process will incorporate random selection of products and will also take into account factors such as the amount of time that has passed since the product was initially tested or last received Validation Testing. Validation Testing is anticipated to begin in 2025.
For more information on the Validation Testing Program, see the CRRC-2 Wall Product Rating Program Manual.
See the CRRC Wall Rating Program Fee Structure for the appropriate Product Rating fee.
Founding Members of the Wall Rating Program made a tax-deductible contribution that went toward program start-up costs, including software development, obtaining trademarks and copyrights, and the design of program logos and labels. In addition to Founding Member pledges, the CRRC has received a generous contribution from the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power.
The CRRC worked in collaboration with industry and end users on the development of the CRRC Wall Rating Program. The program is similar to the CRRC’s Roof Product Rating Program, with product ratings based on the surface radiative properties of exterior wall products.
June 17, 2019: The CRRC membership amended the organization’s bylaws to include the rating of exterior wall products
July 2019–August 2020: A Wall Rating Steering Committee (WRSC) of 30 members representing manufacturers, government, utilities, building enclosure experts, and other interested parties evaluated the technical aspects of the program; developed the program financial model; and conducted an initial marketing campaign to solicit interest and support. The WRSC submitted a program proposal to the CRRC Board of Directors for the approval of the Wall Rating Program
September 24, 2020: The CRRC Board of Directors approved the Wall Rating Program
November 12, 2020: The CRRC Board of Directors approved the roster of appointed members to the Wall Rating Program Committee
September 9, 2021: The CRRC Board of Directors approved the launch date of the Wall Rating Program and program rules, including testing and weathering requirements
January 17, 2022: The launch of the Wall Rating Program and Rated Wall Products Directory
The CRRC held an informational webinar on July 21, 2022 that describes cool exterior walls as a tool for mitigating the urban heat island effect and provides an overview of the Wall Program. Check it out below or access the presentation slides here.
Browse our YouTube channel for more CRRC webinars and presentations.
Download our Fact Sheet with information for manufacturers, end users, and policymakers.
Jiachen Z., Mohegh, A., Li, Y., Levinson, R. & Ban-Weiss, G. (2018). “Systematic Comparison of the Influence of Cool Wall versus Cool Roof Adoption on Urban Climate in the Los Angeles Basin.” Environmental Science & Technology, 52 (19), 11188-11197. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.8b00732
Levinson, R., et al. (2019). Solar-Reflective “Cool” Walls: Benefits, Technologies, and Implementation (CEC-500-2019-040). California Energy Commission. https://doi.org/10.20357/B7SP4H
Levinson, R. (2019). Using solar availability factors to adjust cool-wall energy savings for shading and reflection by neighboring buildings. Solar Energy, 180, 717–734. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.solener.2019.01.023
Petrie, T. W., Atchley, J. A., Childs, P. W., & Desjarlais, A. O. (2007, December 2). Energy savings for stucco walls coated with cool colors. Thermal Performance of Exterior Envelopes of Whole Buildings X, Clearwater, FL. https://www.coolrooftoolkit.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/Energy-Savings-for-Stucco-Walls.pdf [PDF]
Roberts, Glenn, Jr. (2019, July 9). Can’t Take the Heat? ‘Cool Walls’ Can Reduce Energy Costs, Pollution. Berkeley Lab News Center. https://newscenter.lbl.gov/2019/07/09/cool-walls-can-reduce-energy-costs-pollution/
Rosado, P. J., & Levinson, R. (2019). Potential benefits of cool walls on residential and commercial buildings across California and the United States: Conserving energy, saving money, and reducing emission of greenhouse gases and air pollutants. Energy and Buildings, 199, 588–607. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.enbuild.2019.02.028
Zhang, J. et al. (2019). “Investigating the Urban Air Quality Effects of Cool Walls and Cool Roofs in Southern California.” Environmental Science & Technology 2019 53 (13), 7532-7542. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.9b00626
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