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White paint for greener results: Bayer MaterialScience solutions for saving energy — What’s hot is cool up on the roof

Published on 2009-06-10. Author : SpecialChem

Pittsburgh -- When U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu, a Nobel laureate in physics, recently called for painting flat roofs on commercial buildings white to combat global climate change, it seemed deceptively simple: achieving sweeping energy savings with simply a coat of paint. Chu was referring to "Cool Roof" technology - energy-saving technology to reflect the sun from a roof while preventing energy dollars from leaking out. It's technology that's already commercially available and viable for widespread use.

What's makes a Cool Roof so hot? A Cool Roof reflects, rather than absorbs, the sun's energy from the roof surface and emits the sun's heat back to the sky. A building with a Cool Roof can generate savings of 10 to 20 percent of its electricity bill by using the reflectant technology. Cool Roof technologies from Bayer MaterialScience LLC, using BaySystems™' Bayblock™ for example, can reduce roof temperature by 50 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit. By reducing the heat transferred into the building, Cool Roofs help lower energy costs and improve indoor comfort. In contrast, a common, asphalt-based roof can reach temperatures of 150 to 190 degrees Fahrenheit.

Cool Roof solutions are one of a number of energy-saving technologies developed with Bayer MaterialScience LLC expertise in polyurethanes that can make a measurable difference in reducing energy usage and reducing operational costs. Nearly 30 years ago, the company's experts recognized that color was a major contributor to the energy performance of roofing, and pioneered the concept that high-performance coatings and other materials developed specifically for roofing could dramatically reduce energy consumption.

It is estimated that an entire city of Cool Roofs can lower its ambient heat, thus lowering the outdoor temperature in urban "islands," by an estimated 6 percent while reducing smog at the same time. Chu considers Cool Roof technology integral to a "new revolution" to significantly decrease the amount of carbon emissions in the generation of energy.

Bayer MaterialScience LLC makes Cool Roof heat-reflective coatings that can be utilized in a palette of white and other reflective colors. "We've seen an uptick in interest as companies have stepped up their efforts to reduce energy costs," said John M. Linnell, roofing manager, Spray Insulations and Roofing Materials, Bayer MaterialScience LLC.

Cool Roofs have other advantages, Linnell noted. They extend roof life by blocking damaging UV rays that accelerate degradation, require minimal maintenance and eliminate leaks. Lower roof temperatures also reduce damaging building movement.

To assist commercial building owners in evaluating Cool Roof options, The Cool Roof Rating Council (CRRC), an independent, non-profit organization, maintains a third-party rating system for radiative properties of roof surfacing materials. Its system measures coolness based upon solar reflectance and thermal emittance. Linnell noted that Bayer MaterialScience LLC has achieved among the best reflectance ratings available.

Bayer MaterialScience LLC is one of the leading producers of polymers and high-performance plastics in North America and is part of the global Bayer MaterialScience business with nearly 15,100 employees at 30 sites around the world and 2008 sales of 9.7 billion euros. Business activities are focused on the manufacture of high-tech polymer materials and the development of innovative solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. The main segments served are the automotive, electrical and electronics, construction, medical, and sports and leisure industries.

This website may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by Bayer Group or subgroup management. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. These factors include those discussed in Bayer's public reports which are available on the Bayer website at www.bayer.com. The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.

Source: Bayer MaterialScience

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