The sheer size and power of The Ohio State University is certainly something to brag about. However, one thing people are not bragging about is the amount of money spent on the energy used to maintain temperatures throughout campus buildings.
As everyone scrambles to find ways to reach carbon neutrality, they may be forgetting to simply look up. By using the U.S. Department of Energy Roof Calculator, converting our university’s roofing to “cool roofing” when cost effective would not only save $60,000 annually, but also over 1.5 million pounds of carbon each year.
What exactly is cool roofing? It is a type of roofing that increases the amount of sunlight reflected (the albedo), allowing the roof and building to stay cooler. It comes in various colors but the most iconic and popular is white.
Costing the same as normal roofing and having similar life spans, there is no reason not to use this roofing technology. By reflecting more sunlight, our campus roofing would be saving money, energy and carbon by lowering air conditioning bills.
The university could use cool roofing on Kottman Hall, which desperately needs a new roof, as a trial run and case study. Once the savings are realized, the university can then make a commitment to use cool roofing whenever replacing future roofs. There is no better place on campus to be a leader in sustainability than Kottman Hall, the home of the School of Environment and Natural Resources.
Cool roofing can be an extremely successful aspect to a larger goal of becoming more sustainable. Currently, OSU claims to be “scarlet, gray, and green,” but it is only a matter of time until we will have to add “white” to the list of popular colors!