ERA | EPDM Roofing Association

Cool Roof Defeat

Cool Roof Defeat

August 30, 2016 18:29

If you haven’t had a chance to read it yet, we hope you will take a look at the article we authored in the July issue of Professional Roofing. It describes the coalition that ERA built, along with the Colorado Roofing Association, to work against and ultimately defeat a proposed “cool roofing” mandate for the Denver area.

Increasingly, as we worked to defeat this measure, and try to take action against proposed and existing measures like it, we find ourselves, uncomfortably, opposing environmental groups.  So we want to take this opportunity to say loud and clear: ERA, and its member companies, are firmly committed to energy-efficiency actions.  We have supported extensive science-based research to test the sustainability of our products, an important measure of their environmental impact. Our members have developed new products to comply with environmental regulations and to proactively offer their customers a choice of products that will help them conserve energy and reduce their carbon footprint.  ERA leadership has visited Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) just outside Denver to stay abreast of state-of-the-art findings regarding energy conservation. And, perhaps most pertinent, our members make both black EPDM membrane, white EPDM and a variety of reflective roofing products.

So why do we continue to oppose one-size-fits all “cool roof” measures?  Precisely because of our commitment to sustainability.  We firmly believe that decisions about a roofing membrane should be made by the experts – the architects, specifiers, roofing consultants and others who know how to balance the complex equation involved in designing an energy-efficient building envelope. When we defeat a prescriptive “cool roof” amendment, we are in fact supporting a range of choices that will provide the best option for a given building in a specific environment.  As one member of our coalition put it, "A design professional knows there are many ways to achieve energy efficiency, but environmental advocates tend to look at only one overly simplified solution." ERA is committed to making sure that design professionals have a free hand in choosing a roofing product, and can make that choice based on their in-depth knowledge of designing a durable, sustainable, and resilient roof. This is the best path forward to energy savings – serving our clients’ needs and environmental needs at the same time.

Louisa Hart

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