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Case Study of the Day: Telangana’s Cool Roof Policy

Context: Telangana government has recently announced a “Cool Roof Policy” for buildings, to make them heat resilient, besides reducing the energy consumption.

About Cool Roof Policy

  • The Telangana government has announced a ‘cool roof’ Policy, to make them thermally comfortable and heat resilient, besides reducing the energy consumption.
  • Cool Roof
    • A cool roof is designed to reflect more sunlight than a conventional roof, absorbing less solar energy.
    • They have high “thermal emittance”—the ability to shed heat by giving off “thermal infrared” radiation.
  • Applicability
    • Independent residential and commercial buildings, besides apartments.
    • Mandatory for all government, non-residential and commercial buildings irrespective of the size of the area built.
  • Provisions under Policy
    • Materials for covering roof:
      • Roofs can be coated with material or paint having high reflectivity.
      • Prefabricated materials such as poly-vinyl chloride (PVC) membranes or bitumen-based sheeting can be used to cover an existing roof in order to increase the roof surface’s solar reflectance and thermal emittance.
      • Application of high albedo, ceramic mosaic tiles or shingles on top of an existing roof or to a new roof.
    • Occupancy certificates are issued only after the builder complies with the policy guidelines.
    • State government would also offer a special training programme for builders and all those involved in the construction industry about cool roof products and their benefits.
  • Expected Impacts
    • Policy will go a long way in reducing the impact of heat in regions like Telangana, which record high temperatures during the summer.
    • The cool-roof technology will reduce the energy consumption in the form of air-conditioners and fans to a large extent, thereby controlling the carbon-dioxide emissions.
    • Decreasing roof temperature may extend roof service life.
    • Help offset global warming by reflecting more sunlight to outer space.
    • Reduced “urban heat island” effects. A cool roof reflects more heat, and lowers the ambient temperature of the area.
    • Cool roofs decrease urban air temperatures and thus slow the formation of ground level ozone, thereby further reducing smog.

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