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CRRC Talks Ins, Outs of Rated Products Directory

Friday, June 8, 2018

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By Sarah Schneider, Cool Roof Rating Council Deputy Director

 

Twenty years have passed since the Cool Roof Rating Council was first established through a partnership between roofing manufacturers, government, national laboratories, utilities and nonprofit organizations with the goal of developing a rating system for roofing products based on accurate and credible methods for evaluating a product’s radiative performance (solar reflectance and thermal emittance). Knowing the reflectance and emittance of roofing products is a critical part of understanding the performance of the building envelope and the roof’s impact on building energy use, occupant comfort and the surrounding environment.

Since the early days of the CRRC, the cool roof market has burgeoned with the advent of new technologies and cool colors. With numerous products available for installation on commercial and residential buildings, identifying roofing materials that meet the needs of a project can be a daunting task.

Images courtesy of the CRRC

Since the early days of the CRRC, the cool roof market has burgeoned with the advent of new technologies and cool colors. With numerous products available for installation on commercial and residential buildings, identifying roofing materials that meet the needs of a project can be a daunting task.

To aid in the quest for the right roofing product, the CRRC maintains the Rated Products Directory, a free online resource that lists roofing products that have undergone testing, weathering and rating in accordance with the CRRC’s strict protocols. The Rated Products Directory contains nearly 3,000 active rated products, along with their initial and three-year-aged radiative properties (solar reflectance, thermal emittance and Solar Reflectance Index).

Designed with homeowners, contractors and architects in mind, the Rated Products Directory is equipped with powerful and flexible search options to quickly identify roofing products that meet a variety of needs, such as:

  • Increasing occupant comfort by keeping the building cooler during hot summer months,
  • Cutting energy costs by reducing the need for air-conditioning, and
  • Meeting color and material requirements that align with a particular architectural style.

(Note that the overall impact of cool roof benefits may vary depending on factors such as climate zone, time of year and energy usage patterns. Additionally, while positive impacts of implementing cool roofs can be significant, proper roof installation and maintenance are essential to achieving these benefits.)

Since a growing number of local jurisdictions, states and countries are adopting building codes, ordinances and green programs that require roofing materials with minimum reflectance, emittance and/or SRI, the Rated Products Directory is also an ideal resource for users looking to receive LEED credits or comply with roofing requirements in codes like ASHRAE 90.1 and 189.1, International Energy Conservation Code and California’s Building Energy Efficiency Standards (commonly known as Title 24, Part 6). The Rated Products Directory is also useful for identifying products that are eligible for rebates, loans and incentives offered by government agencies and energy utilities.

 

SEARCHING THE DIRECTORY

 

The Rated Products Directory features a universal search bar that allows users to narrow down the list by manufacturer, brand, model name or CRRC product ID. If a more open-ended search is desired, users can select preset filters to identify products by type (e.g., field-applied coating, coated metal, tile, asphalt shingle, membrane), color, slope, market and/or minimum radiative properties. The minimum radiative properties filter is particularly useful in searching for products that comply with local requirements.

The use of keyword search operators is also a helpful strategy for narrowing the results of a search, particularly if the model name or CRRC Product ID is not known. For example, search parameters can be set up by using Boolean operators, such as “and” and “or,” or inclusion operators, such as the plus (+) sign. To improve the search functionality, clearing the filters for every new search is advisable.

The Rated Products Directory features a universal search bar that allows users to narrow down the list by manufacturer, brand, model name or CRRC product ID.

In addition to product information, users can also explore which test methods were used to measure the radiative properties of a rated product, as well as locate the manufacturer’s website and representative’s contact information.

For users who are interested in data analysis, the Rated Products Directory can be exported to a .csv or .xlsx file. For convenience, search results can also be printed to a PDF format. For the most current list of rated products, it is recommended to always refer to the online Rated Products Directory rather than exports or PDF versions obtained in the past.

Once a product is selected on the Rated Products Directory, the user can contact the manufacturer directly, or a private contractor or roofing consultant, to assist in choosing the “coolest” product for their building or project.

 

MORE ABOUT THE DIRECTORY

 

A CRRC product rating describes the radiative performance of a roofing material; it does not indicate a ranking or approval. The “coolness” of a roof is determined by two basic properties: solar reflectance and thermal emittance. Solar reflectance is the fraction of solar radiation reflected away from the roof, while thermal emittance is the efficiency with which the roof reradiates absorbed heat. The values of both properties range from 0 to 1, with higher values indicating “cooler” products. In addition to these two metrics, the “coolness” of a roof may also be represented by its SRI, a calculated metric that combines solar reflectance and thermal emittance into one value. SRI values are usually between 0 and 100, with particularly cool materials exceeding 100.

The Rated Products Directory is not limited to cool products; any roofing product can be rated in accordance with CRRC rating protocols. Roofing product manufacturers and sellers obtain CRRC product ratings with the goals of complying with adopted codes and green building programs that require roofing materials that meet minimum reflectance, emittance and/or SRI requirements.

The process to get a rating and be listed in the Rated Products Directory is coordinated through the CRRC Product Rating Program. Roofing products are tested in accordance with industry standard procedures listed in ANSI standard ANSI/CRRC S100 and the requirements described in the CRRC-1 Product Rating Program Manual.

The process to get a rating and be listed in the Rated Products Directory is coordinated through the CRRC Product Rating Program. Roofing products are tested in accordance with industry standard procedures listed in ANSI standard ANSI/CRRC S100 and the requirements described in the CRRC-1 Product Rating Program Manual.

The rating process begins with a CRRC-approved Accredited Independent Test Lab measuring the radiative properties of new product samples (called “initial testing”). After initial testing, the product samples are sent to weathering farms (i.e. “test farms”) in three different climate zones (hot/dry, hot/humid and cool/temperate) to naturally age for three years. Aging enables us to better understand how soiling and weathering affects the radiative properties of various roofing products. After three years, the weathered samples are tested again by an AITL (“aged testing”). The aged rating is the average of the radiative property measurements from the three climate zones.

The initial and aged ratings are published on the Rated Products Directory and on CRRC labels that are printed on product packaging. Designers, specifiers, contractors, building owners and building departments can rely on the Rated Products Directory or CRRC product label to obtain the radiative property information of a rated product.

The Rated Products Directory also includes roofing products that have undergone the laboratory-simulated aging (i.e. accelerated aging) process to receive a CRRC Rapid Rating. This is an optional product rating process that enables manufacturers to list the laboratory-aged radiative property values on the Rated Products Directory and CRRC product labels at an accelerated rate—the aging simulation is completed in less than a week. Once the product completes the required three-year weathering process, the aged ratings replace the laboratory-aged values on the Rated Products Directory and CRRC product labels. For more information, see the March 2016 article in Durability + Design entitled, “From 3 Years of Aging to 3 Days: Generating Interim Roof Ratings with Laboratory Aging.”

The CRRC Rated Products Directory is a resource for identifying rated roofing products for any building project, big or small. It can be accessed on the CRRC website (coolroofs.org), along with other useful resources, such as CRRC downloadable brochures for home and building owners, architects, contractors, policy makers and code officials.

As a nonprofit organization, the CRRC is dedicated to developing, implementing and communicating an accurate radiative energy performance rating system for roof surfaces; supporting cool roof research; and serving as an educational resource for roofing information. The CRRC offers membership to architects, designers, specifiers, building inspectors, contractors, consultants, manufacturers, academia, trade associations and individuals who have an interest in building envelope design and research, climate policy or the roofing market in general. For more information about CRRC membership or the Rated Products Directory, please contact the CRRC at info@coolroofs.org or 866-465-2523.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sarah Schneider is the Deputy Director of the Cool Roof Rating Council. She works closely with the CRRC Technical Committee and oversees the maintenance of the CRRC’s American National Standard (ANSI/CRRC S100) and accreditation to ISO/IEC 17065. Schneider has a master’s degree in public policy and a bachelor of science degree in environmental science.

   

Tagged categories: Building envelope; Certifications and standards; Cool roof coatings; Cool Roof Rating Council; Cool Roof Rating Council (CRRC); Cool Roof Rating Council (CRRC); Roofs

Comment from Robert Bullard, (6/9/2018, 12:14 PM)

A 3 YR weathering just does not cut it for roofs in the swamps and coasts of SE ang Gulf Coast US for most acrylic elastomeric coatings.


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