3. NYC °CoolRoofs

Officially launched in 2009, NYC °CoolRoofs offers free roof paints jobs to public properties, nonprofits, affordable housing buildings and hospitals, among other places. (Privately-owned buildings will have to pay for the installation). The reason is simple: to cover rooftops in white paint to reflect the solar rays and to reduce the amount of heat that black roofs capture.

Buildings with the reflective paint can lower internal temperatures by 30% and decrease air conditioning costs by 10% to 30%. Since 2009, the program has invited 5,000 volunteers and covered more than 6.7 million square feet of rooftops throughout the city.

There are numerous interventions possible, including green roofs, but white roofs are by far the most cost effective. In a retrograde as simple as this, all that is required are paint brushes, rollers, buckets, plastic bags, paint, and of course volunteers. Under the umbrella of the Department of Buildings, NYC °CoolRoofs works behind the scenes to identify roofs, to ensure buildings are structurally safe to paint, and to get volunteers up to paint them. The organization partners with NYC Service, which helps leverage the labor of over 3,000 volunteers. But NYC Service is not the only player: the White Roof Project performs education outreach and marketing for white roofs, in addition to staffing volunteer projects.

For those that are interested in volunteering, contact NYC °CoolRoofs  or the White Roof Project.

Check out the interactive video “Home” at loveyourhome.orsted.com.