Experts suggest cool roofs to combat rising temperatures, air pollution

These roofs are designed to reflect light rather than absorb it, hence, it will reduce the air conditioning cost by at least 20 per cent.

Published: 03rd December 2019 10:28 AM  |   Last Updated: 03rd December 2019 10:28 AM   |  A+A-

In order to combat the increasing heat and air pollution in the city, the Telangana government is spearheading the TS Cool City programme.

Image used for representation. (Express Illustration)

By Express News Service

HYDERABAD:  Due to factors such as global warming and development works, urban areas are sizzling under extreme heat, resulting in an increase in the city’s temperature. Experts claim that due to rise in heat, the temperature in the city has increased by 10 degrees Celsius in the last few years.   

To counter the increasing heat, while many have invested in air-conditioners and coolers, experts urge people to go for long-term solutions, such as ‘cool roofs’. In order to combat the increasing heat and air pollution in the city, the Telangana government is spearheading the TS Cool City programme.

These cool roofs are designed in a way such that they reflect light, rather than absorb it, unlike conventional concrete roofs.

Explaining the function and benefits of these roofs, Hashem Akbari professor of civil and environmental engineering at Concordia University, told Express that a black roof can increase the temperature of a house.

Akbari, who was in the city for the conference said, “cool roof that can be applied on both new and existing buildings and will save 20 per cent in air conditioning cost. This increase in surface temperature can also contribute to an increase in air pollution due to the intensification of the heat island effect.” 

Claiming that cool roofs can help lower indoor temperatures by 3-5 degree Celsius, Neetu Jain, a roofer and managing director of Panache Green said, “Depending on the choice of cool roof material, the temperature of houses and, buildings can be reduced drastically. It will also enhance roof durability.”

While Neetu claims that they have designed special cool roof systems with multiple coats, a cool roof can be a coating or a bunch of reflective tiles. It’s usually a bright colour, but not always white. 

“The cheapest option, a coating of lime plaster, or white paint can cost as little as Rs 20-40 per sq ft. A cool protective coating can be reapplied every seven to 10 years to increase the longevity of the roof. The most expensive option, specially-designed ceramic tiles, can cost nearly Rs 100 per sq ft,” said B Rajkiran, of ASCI. 

The State took the pilot programme in 2018-19, under which it aims to create awareness among the citizens.

It also aims to complete its five years (2019-2024) plan to make 30 lakh sq m of roofs into cool roofs -- equivalent to 11,000 houses in the city and 100 government buildings in the State. 

As the problem of high temperature is more in slums, the State government is planning to cover it by using State funds through Heat Action Plan Funds and Corporate Social Responsibility.

The programme hopes to cover 1,00,000 sq m of roofs over the next year, 30,00,000 sq m over five years in Hyderabad. It will be implemented across Telangana after the first year.

It will try to cover 83,00,000 sq m of roofs across the State in five years.

To start the State-wide drive for adoption of cool roofs, the government asked all municipal, government and commercial buildings (more than 1,000 sq ft) to mandatorily put cool roofs.

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