Identifying Cool Roof Products
When shopping for cool roof products, consider your objectives. Are you trying to comply with building codes? Are you trying to meet requirements for a utility rebate or a tax credit? Are you shopping for the “coolest” product? Depending on your objective, you will need to learn to read the labels to find a roof product’s “cool” properties.
Cool Roof Rating Council (CRRC)
The Cool Roof Rating Council (CRRC) is an independent, non-profit organization that maintains a third-party rating program which rates and publishes a roof product’s radiative properties – solar reflectance and thermal emittance . These radiative properties determine whether a product is cool. Once a product is rated the results are published on their online Rated Products Directory and given a label with the results (see graphic below). Manufacturers are encouraged to list their roofing products in the CRRC Rated Product Directory and must follow the CRRC Product Rating Program Manual (CRRC-1) testing method. Since all roofing products can be rated by CRRC, consumers and builders should use the CRRC label to identify which roof products meet their purchasing objectives— qualifying for ENERGY STAR, meeting building code requirements and/or receiving utility rebates.
CRRC tests products when they are new and aged. Aged products are weathered outside for three years. The weathered rating will indicate how the roof products’ radiative properties changed when exposed to sun, soil, wind, rain and other natural elements. Many building codes and utility rebates specify the weathered rating because some products become less reflective over time, thus become less effective at conserving energy.