What happens when buildings get too hot?
Imagine the sun beating down on a hot, humid July day in New York City. If the temperature on the sidewalk is 95°F, the temperature on a black rooftop can soar to more than 140°F. As the surrounding air gets hotter, rooftop air conditioners have to work harder to cool buildings. Energy use goes up all over the city.
As demand for energy increases, the cost of energy goes up and shortages result. More power plants must be built. As more energy is consumed, our dependence on foreign oil grows.
In the meantime, escalating urban temperatures contribute to increased pollution, higher asthma rates, and environmental degradation. And in the long run, nothing threatens a building envelope's integrity more severely than relentless exposure to the sun.