Energy Efficiency & Energy Evaluations

Evaluating a Roof System’s Energy Efficiency

The roof system on your building is one of the largest surfaces of the building envelope. Because of this, your roof has a significant impact on the energy efficient operations of the building and building envelope.

Building an energy efficient roof assembly is the first step toward establishing an energy efficient environment within the building envelope. Without an energy efficient roof, it is difficult to maintain a conditioned environment in the building.

How do you determine your roof’s level of energy efficiency?

Step One: Roof Composition

The first step in determining your roof’s energy efficiency is to determine the composition of your roof system. In most cases this requires a professional contractor to complete a core cut of the roof system. A core cut involves performing a cut of the roof system assembly to determine the overall composition of the roof assembly including the thickness of each layer of material.

In addition, it is important to determine the type of decking that supports the roof assembly as this can have an impact on the energy performance of the roof system.

Step Two: Roof Surface Type

The second step is to determine the type and color of the exposed roof system. The energy performance of a roof system is dependent in part on the surface color and the material type.

Each roof system type has a pre-determined rate of reflectivity and emissivity. Both of these characteristics help determine whether the membrane reflects solar energy or whether it absorbs it and if absorbed how long the material retains the energy. The greater reflectivity the less energy is absorbed which helps cut the transfer of radiant energy into the building. The lower rate of reflectivity, the greater the rate of energy absorption and the transfer of radiant energy into the building envelope.

Step Three: Roof Assembly Audit

The third step is to enter the composition of the roof assembly into a program designed to determine the energy efficiency of the roof assembly. There are several services offered through roofing manufacturers that help to determine the energy efficiency of roof assemblies. In addition, the NRCA has an online program for its members called Energy Wise which allows roofing contractors to be able to determine energy efficiency of roof systems for their clients.

In addition to the composition of the roof system, specific information pertaining to current heating and cooling appliances along with utility rates are required to further refine the feedback.

Step Four: Roof Design

After determining the energy efficiency of the current roof assembly, many of the programs offer the ability to develop different options for improving the energy efficiency of the roof system. A professional roofing contractor utilizing these services can provide feedback for building owners and managers regarding how changes to the roof assembly will affect energy performance.

Factors such as roof membrane color, increased insulation thicknesses as well as different insulation types can be considered. After developing these multiple scenarios, building owners and managers can then consider which option makes the most sense and produces the best return on their investment into the building.

Request a roof energy evaluation today!

How can Jurin Roofing help?

ENERGY STAR Small Business Network Member

ENERGY STAR Small Business Network Member

Jurin Roofing Services, Inc. is a member of the ENERGY STAR Small Business Network. As an ENERGY STAR member, Jurin Roofing has access to energy saving EPA tools and resources. No matter the type of building, members can use ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager, EPA’s online energy tracking tool, and other technical resources to measure and improve efficiency.

ENERGY STAR Small Business Network members are committed to improving energy efficiency with ENERGY STAR. These leaders recognize that saving energy is not only good for the environment, it’s good for the bottom line. Recognized by more than 85 percent of the American public, ENERGY STAR represents commitment to saving energy — and being an environmental leader.

Wet Roof Insulation and Energy Efficiency

Energy efficient roof systems require the insulation used in the roof assembly to be dry. Wet insulation board performs poorly as insulation. The R-value of insulation is negatively impacted when the insulation board becomes wet as a result of condensation or roof leaks. It is important to identify areas in a roof assembly where wet insulation may be present. These areas will create inefficiency in the energy performance of the roof assembly.

Infrared Roof Moisture Scans

The use of infrared scans and thermography is an outstanding method of being able to determine if there is trapped moisture in a roof assembly and to identify where the moisture may be located. Infrared scans detect temperature being emitted from the surface of an object. Moisture contained within a roof system leads to a different temperature on the roof surface. This temperature difference can be detected with a Thermographic camera which helps a professional thermographer or roofing contractor to determine specific locations of trapped moisture in the roof assembly. The wet roofing material can then be cut out and discarded.

Wet roof insulation
Learn more about infrared scans