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Four Ways Coated Metals Improve Sustainability in Construction

These days, it’s not uncommon to hear businesses from nearly every industry discuss “sustainability” or plans for a more sustainable future. As the term becomes more ubiquitous in today’s business planning, its definition can be somewhat vague. For our purposes, sustainability refers to a company’s efforts in reducing its environmental impact through the use of more environmentally-friendly building materials and less consumption of natural resources. While the coating industry works diligently in manufacturing products that adhere to high standards for sustainability, there are several ways to be more sustainable and environmentally conscious.

1. Reduce the use of volatile organic compounds.

For a long time, volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, played a large role in the coating industry because they contain properties that assist in applying coatings to a surface. Continue reading

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The Next Great Thing: Part Two

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We left off last time mentioning two research reports, both of which discuss a functional material that might—someday—serve as a cooling device. No moving parts and no energy required to operate this device. Science fiction? Definitely not, but there is still much to be done before such a device becomes a commercial reality. But, for the moment, let’s not worry about such details.

At the 2015 CRRC Membership meeting, Aaswath Raman, Ph.D., from the Ginzton Laboratory at Stanford University, presented his work on sub-ambient cooling of sky-facing surfaces. To understand Dr. Raman’s work, picture a sheet of material with an exceptionally high solar reflectance (around 97%), mounted in a fixture on a roof in Phoenix. It has a shiny metal appearance. (Super-high reflectance is only possible with mirror-like materials.) Because the material has such a high reflectance, it will not absorb much incoming IR radiation, but it certainly will be heated by the surrounding hot desert air (convective heating). Since this shiny material is hot because of the desert heat, it is emitting plenty of IR radiation. Here is the actual installation. Continue reading


Cool Roofing: What’s New

We are now a few decades into the era of cool metal roofing. “Era” is probably the wrong word, because cool metal roofing is here to stay. Many coatings producers and metal roofing manufacturers in North America now offer the benefit of cool roofing as a part of their standard product portfolio.

As “special” becomes “standard,” it is easy to assume that cool roofing is on autopilot and that nothing more needs to be done. Although in a practical sense this is mostly true, it is good to remember that research continues wherever energy savings is the goal, and cool roofing is included in this research.

Consider the following: Continue reading