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DOE Headquarters Gets Cool Roof


A new cool roof installation on the Department of Energy’s Headquarters West Building has been completed. There was no incremental cost to adding the cool roof as part of the roof replacement project and it will save $2,000 per year in building energy costs.

“The Department of Energy is leading by example, demonstrating how cool roofs can help achieve significant energy and cost savings. This is a simple, low-cost technology that can provide tremendous benefits for government, businesses and homeowners across the country,” said Secretary Chu.

Earlier this year, Secretary Chu directed all Department of Energy offices to install cool roofs, whenever cost effective, when constructing a new roof or replacing an old one. The Department’s new cool roof on the West Building covers approximately 25,000 square feet. In the spring, DOE will also install a cool roof on the Headquarters’ South Building, covering approximately 66,000 square feet.

The new cool roof installations on both buildings will save a total of $8,000 per year in energy costs.

A dark roof can reach temperatures above 180F on a hot day, while a cool roof can stay 50 degrees cooler. A study by researchers at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) found that using cool roofs and cool pavements in cities around the world can help reduce the demand for air conditioning, cool entire cities, and potentially cancel the heating effect of up to two years of worldwide carbon dioxide emissions.

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2 thoughts on “DOE Headquarters Gets Cool Roof

  1. I’m glad to see the government in general taking green building seriously in retrofits and new construction for its own buildings. But I do find it hard to believe that the Department of Energy did not already have a white roof! That’s just eco-architecture 101. I wonder how good the rest of the building is.

  2. Daniela –
    That complex is actually GSA, DOE just works there. The whole complex was built in the ’70s, definitely not eco-architecture. The design of the building makes it impossible, well, unfeasible, to replace windows! They’ve at least put up reflective film.

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