Is Roofing Part of Your Energy Management Strategy? Part 5

Regulatory Mandates

The obvious benefits of cool roofing systems have resulted in many federal, state, and local government initiatives designed to encourage or mandate their use.

Below is brief overview of Federal Energy Management Policy and Mandates. The full overview can be found here.

National Energy Conservation Policy Act (NECPA)

Signed into law in 1978, NECPA serves as the underlying authority for Federal energy management goals and requirements. It is regularly updated and amended by subsequent laws and regulations and is the foundation of most current energy requirements.

Section 543 of NECPA required a reduction in Btu/GSF of 20 percent by 2000, life-cycle cost methods and procedures, budget treatment for energy conservation measures, incentives for Federal facility energy managers, reporting requirements, new technology demonstrations, and agency surveys of energy-saving potential.

Section 102 of EPAct 2005 re-established energy reduction requirement for Federal buildings. The requirement uses a base year of fiscal year (FY) 2003 and requires reductions of 2 percent per year in energy use per square foot, leading to a 20 percent reduction in FY 2015.

In 2007, President George Bush signed Executive Order 13423, strengthening Federal environmental, energy, and transportation management. Section 2 of the Order set more challenging goals than EPAct 2005, requiring a 3 percent reduction in energy intensity per year and leading to a 30 percent reduction in 2015 compared to the base FY of 2003.

Also in 2007, President Bush signed the Energy Security and Independence Act of 2007 (EISA). EISA adopts the energy intensity reduction goals of Executive Order 13423 beginning in FY 2008 with a 9 percent reduction and increasing to a 30 percent reduction in FY 2015.

Click the links below for more detailed information.

Energy Policy Act of 1992

Executive Order 13221

Energy Policy Act of 2005

Executive Order 13423

Energy Independence & Security Act of 2007

Cool Roofing is a Win-Win Energy Management Strategy

Most building owners don’t need regulation to recognize a good thing when they see it. Even without regulatory mandates, PVC and TPO cool roofing systems have been the fastest growing commercial systems in America since the late 1990s. Many utility companies now offer rebates for using reflective roofing systems. These rebates – which can amount to several thousand dollars on large roof installations – are offered nationwide, not just in southern climates.

Best of all, cool roofing is a rare example where there are really no cost or performance tradeoffs for selecting an energy-efficient, environmentally-friendly system. The best single-ply cool roofing systems protect buildings from the rain, sleet, and snow just as well, or better, than alternative dark-surface roofing systems, and they can also play an important part in the energy management strategies of smart building owners and managers.

A Through Z of Associations: Part 6

This is the last in a series of posts discussing the various associations that benefit roofing manufacturers, contractors, and other industry professionals.


The Single Ply Roofing Industry (SPRI) is a recognized technical and statistical authority on single-plies, representing sheet membrane and related component suppliers in the commercial roofing industry. SPRI provides a forum that enables members to collectively focus their expertise and efforts on critical industry issues. By acting as a trade organization, the group can effectively improve product quality, installation techniques, workforce training, and other issues common to the industry.

Since 1981, SPRI has been a resource for building owners, architects, engineers, specifiers, contractors, and maintenance personnel, providing information about commercial roofing components and systems.


The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is a nonprofit organization that certifies sustainable businesses, homes, hospitals, schools, and neighborhoods. USGBC is dedicated to expanding green building practices and education through its LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Rating System™.

The LEED system is a voluntary, consensus-based national rating system for developing high-performance, sustainable buildings. LEED addresses all building types and emphasizes state-of-the-art strategies in five areas: sustainable site development, water savings, energy-efficiency, materials and resource selection, and indoor environmental quality.

LEED Accredited Professionals (LEED APs) have demonstrated an understanding of green building techniques, the LEED Green Building Rating System, and the certification process.


Founded in 1982, the Vinyl Institute (VI) is a U.S. trade association representing the leading manufacturers of vinyl, vinyl chloride monomer, vinyl additives and modifiers, and vinyl packaging materials.

VI advocates the responsible manufacture of vinyl resins; life-cycle management of vinyl products; and the promotion of the value of vinyl to society. The VI has produced a number of publications addressing the environmental aspects of vinyl products, including roofing systems. Environmental Profile: Vinyl Roofing Membranes is available at this link.

Positive Responses to Negative Statements About PVC: Part 6

Statement: “PVC is the largest source of dioxin, the most poisonous chemical on earth.”

The facts: There will always be dioxin present in the environment because the most common sources of dioxin are natural contributors such as forest fires and volcanoes. When it comes to man-made sources, PVC doesn’t even show up on the radar screen.

Dioxin is created during incomplete combustion of any material – even wood burning in a home fireplace. According to the EPA’s inventory of dioxin emission sources, total dioxin emissions dropped from a toxic equivalent (TEQ) of 13,949 grams in 1987 to 1,106 grams in 2004. The top four man-made sources are:

Backyard barrel burning 56%

Land-applied sewage sludge 6%

Residential wood burning 5%

Coal-fired utilities 5%

Vinyl is one of more than 20 sources that make up the “other” category. Individually, vinyl is less than 0.4% of the total – that’s less than 5 grams throughout the entire United States. Even if vinyl was not being manufactured and used daily in myriad essential and lifesaving products, the levels of dioxin in the environment would be essentially unchanged.

Let me know what questions or negative statements about PVC that you have been faced with and we’ll address them here. Email me at

Faces of Duro-Last: Anna Hernandez

Anna Hernandez - Corporate Accounts Coordinator
Anna Hernandez - Corporate Accounts Coordinator

Anna Hernandez joined Duro-Last® in 2004 as Marketing Account Coordinator and recently moved into the position of Corporate Accounts Coordinator, working out of the Duro-Last’s Headquarters in Saginaw, Michigan. She is responsible for identifying new corporate account opportunities, and primarily focuses on companies that implement sustainable roofing in their portfolios. Once a potential account has been identified, Anna works to coordinate the bid process on those opportunities. Ann also works with Duro-Last’s Regional Sales Managers to develop specific corporate account sales strategies for their territories.

Working with lots of different people in the roofing and facilities industries from all across the country, Anna is constantly learning new things. She enjoys being a reliable, “go-to” person that helps get things done by networking and connecting the Duro-Last sales team with facility managers, portfolio managers, and decision-makers that can benefit from our Corporate Account Services.

“Over the past four years I have worked with great people and gained great insight into the construction and manufacturing industries,” said Anna. “Because Duro-Last is a growing mid-sized company, I have been able to utilized my experience and skills to the fullest without being restricted to just one specific function.”

Factors To Consider When Purchasing A Roofing System: Environmental Impact

The drive for environmentally-friendly products extends to the commercial construction arena, including roofing systems. In this post, we will discuss some of the energy aspects of roofing: reflectivity, emissivity, and the solar reflectance index.

Environmental Impact – Part B

Rooftop reflectivity has received substantial attention during 2009, perhaps most notably in Energy Secretary Steven Chu’s remarks recommending that the world’s roofs be painted white. The upshot is that a roofing material’s ability to reflect solar energy has environmental implications, including its contribution to (or mitigation of) the urban heat island effect and impact on emerging carbon markets, among others. In fact, a roofing system’s energy efficiency is really determined by a couple of interrelated attributes.

Reflectivity (technically, albedo) is the percentage of solar energy reflected by a surface. The higher the reflectance value, the more solar energy that will be reflected from the surface.

Emissivity is the measure of how effectively a material sheds the heat it has absorbed. Materials with a high emissivity value may absorb energy easily, but they also radiate large amounts of it back into the atmosphere.

Roofing systems that provide both high reflectivity and emissivity are most likely to have a significant impact on a building’s energy cost. Some systems can reduce a building’s energy consumption by up to 40%.

The solar reflectance index (SRI) is a tool that evaluates reflectivity, emissivity, and other factors to determine a roof’s overall ability to reject solar heat. Its calculation is defines by ASTM E 1980-01 and is based on a formula that includes values for solar absorptance, solar flux, emissivity, the Stefan Boltxman constant, and other coefficients.

Standard black (reflectivity 5%, emissivity 90%) has an index of 0, and standard white (reflectivity 80%, emissivity 90%) has an index of 100. Very “hot” materials can actually have negative values and very “cool” materials can have values greater than 100. Materials with the highest SRIs are the coolest choices for roofing.

The Duro-Last Cool Zone® roofing system, a PVC membrane, has initial reflectivity and emissivity measurements of 87.5% and 95%, respectively, and a resulting SRI value of 108.

Here are the SRIs of some other roofing materials as measured by Lawrence Berkeley Labs and the Florida Solar Energy Center:

Roofing System




White EPDM





Metal, White




New, Bare

Galvanized Steel




Light Gravel





White Granular

Surface Bitumen




Dark Gravel




Black EPDM