Q: Does roofing make a difference in building for energy efficiency?

A: The interface that separates the inside from the outside [unconditioned space] includes roofing and ceiling construction as well as doors, exterior walls, flooring, insulation, and the slabbing makes a dramatic difference in building a home for energy savings. Energy efficient roofing materials not only reduce household energy use, but also reduce greenhouse gas emissions thus reducing the home’s energy bills.

The initial pricing of a more efficient roof can be slightly greater at the onset, but will provide a return within a reasonable amount of living in the home. An experienced green builder is able to calculate the savings through energy modeling. You may also be eligible for energy tax credits when choosing to consider energy efficiency in roofing.

Traditionally, roofing is built to reflect 5 to 15 percent, which translates into absorbing 85 to 95 percent of the sun’s energy and heat production. Many energy efficient roofing products are now available to reflect up to 65 percent of sunlight. Thermal emittance describes how easily a roof gives up its heat. Ideally, you should choose a high level of emittance which means it is reflecting the sun’s heat.

I’ll be back next week on windows and related items as we are now into our fall season. Listen to this week radio show for more on these topics. Thanks for sending your question.

Build well and enjoy life.

Please submit questions to jon@quailhomes.com Jon can be reached direct at 360.907.5800. Tune into Green Building with Jon Girod on 1550 a.m. on Saturdays at 9 am. See you next week!