Cool Roofs in China Can Save Energy and Reduce Emissions

Working with Chinese researchers, the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) has conducted the first comprehensive study of cool roofs in China and concluded that they would be effective in substantially reducing energy use and greenhouse gas emissions in climate zones with hot summers.

The team simulated both residential and office buildings in seven Chinese cities in five climate zones, evaluating energy use throughout the year. They also conducted short-term experiments on an office building in Chongqing and a factory in Foshan (near Guangzhou). They found that for the region of China roughly from Shanghai on south, light-colored "cool" roofs that reduce the need for air conditioning can lower annual energy cost, as well as annual emissions of CO2, NOx, and SO2.