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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Effects of natural soiling and weathering on cool roof energy savings for dormitory buildings in Chinese cities with hot summers

  • Author(s): Shi, D
  • Zhuang, C
  • Lin, C
  • Zhao, X
  • Chen, D
  • Gao, Y
  • Levinson, R
  • et al.

Roofs with high-reflectance (solar reflectance) coating, commonly known as cool roofs, can stay cool in the sun, thereby reducing building energy consumption and mitigating the urban heat island. However, chemical-physical degradation and biological growth can decrease their solar reflectance and the ability to save energy. In this study, the solar spectral reflectance of 12 different roofing products with an initial albedo of 0.56–0.90 was measured before exposure and once every three months over 32 months. Specimens were exposed on the roofs of dormitory buildings in Xiamen and Chengdu, each major urban areas with hot summers. The albedos of high and medium-lightness coatings stabilized in the ranges 0.45–0.62 and 0.36–0.59 in both cities, respectively. This study yielded albedo loss exceeded those reported in the latest Chinese standard by 0.08–0.15. Finally, DesignBuilder (EnergyPlus) simulations estimate that a new cool roof with albedo 0.78 on a six-story dormitory building will yield annual site energy savings (heating and cooling) for the top floor, which are 8.01 kWh/m (24.2%) and 9.12 kWh/m (26.3%) per unit floor area in Xiamen and Chengdu, respectively; while an aged cool roof with albedo 0.45 and 0.56 will yield the annual savings by 5.12 kWh/m (15.4%) and 2.47 kWh/m (10.5%) in these two cities. 2 2 2 2

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