The choice is simple and stark. Choose a hot town with more sick people, lower productivity and wasteful energy use that taxes its economic prosperity. Or choose a cool town with healthier, happier people; increased resilience; and efficient energy use that delivers millions of dollars in net benefits to its citizens.
According to the Washington, D.C.-based Global Cool Cities Alliance, in the not too distant future, unchecked heat increases will drain nearly 6 percent of urban economic output and double the cost of local climate-change impacts in the average city. The problem of heat is growing rapidly and poses serious challenges to nearly every aspect of urban life.
Cool roofs are an ancient concept that we traditionally associate with building comfort and energy efficiency. We can now understand and quantify the many other benefits cool roofs can deliver. Consequently, GCCA has launched a web feature that explores and details the co-benefits of choosing cool roofs. Altogether, the improvements in energy use, health and safety, air quality, equity, electric grid resilience and quality of life attributable to cool roofs can return $12 for every $1 invested.
The GCCA web feature allows users to transform a city by adding cool roofs, ultimately demonstrating how cool roofs can tackle nine urban challenges.