Phone

Defining a “Cool Roof” with Denver’s Green Buildings Ordinance

Proudly Serving Employers

According to Denver’s Green Buildings Ordinance, “cool roof means a roof, or a portion of a roof, containing roof covering materials meeting certain solar reflectance values that mitigate or assist in reducing urban heat island effect.” If you think that this concept is simple, you aren’t wrong. After all, a cool roof simply needs to keep the building its built on cool, right? As it turns out, it might not be quite that simple.

Although that assumption is technically correct, a lot of science goes into determining whether or not a roof qualifies as a bonafide cool roof. In this article, the Denver contractor lawyers from Cotney Construction Law will help explain this important distinction. If you are a contractor working in the Mile-High City, it’s imperative that you are compliant with this important initiative. To ensure that your projects maintain compliance with the green buildings ordinance and other laws pertaining to construction in Denver, consult a Denver contractor lawyer with years of experience fighting on the industry’s behalf. 

Low-Sloped Roofs

Low-sloped roofs are roofs with a slope less than 2:12. All low-slope roofs, unless otherwise specified, must possess the following values:

  • Initial Minimum Reflectance: .70
  • 3-Year Minimum Reflectance: .55
  • Initial SRI Minimum: 78
  • 3-Year SRI Minimum: 64

These values differ for low-slope metal roofs. Currently, the values for low-slope metal roofs are as follows:

  • Initial Minimum Reflectance: .50
  • 3-Year Minimum Reflectance: N/A
  • Initial SRI Minimum: N/A
  • 3-Year SRI Minimum: N/A

Again, these values differ for low-slope concrete pavers, concrete surfaces, and stone roofs:

  • Initial Minimum Reflectance: .20
  • 3-Year Minimum Reflectance: N/A
  • Initial SRI Minimum: N/A
  • 3-Year SRI Minimum: N/A

Steep-Sloped Roofs

Steep-sloped roofs are roofs with a slope equal to or greater than 2:12. All steep-slope roofs, unless otherwise specified, must possess the following values:

  • Initial Minimum Reflectance: .25
  • 3-Year Minimum Reflectance: .15
  • Initial SRI Minimum: 39
  • 3-Year SRI Minimum: 32

For steep-sloped roofs constructed of clay or concrete roof tile and installed on elevated battens, there is no required value for initial minimum reflectance. Furthermore, data pertaining to 3-year minimum reflectance, initial SRI minimum, and 3-year SRI minimum are currently unavailable.

As you can see, proper installation of a cool roof under the green buildings ordinance requires contractors to meet certain benchmarks. However, in some cases in which no data is currently available, contractors will want to partner with a Denver contractor attorney and proceed with caution to prevent any potential legal conflicts.

If you would like to speak with one of our Denver contractor attorneys, please contact us today.

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.