September 30, 2022 at 6:00 p.m.
By Sarah Schneider, Cool Roof Rating Council.
The CRRC Rated Roof Products Directory is your go-to for finding the perfect roofing materials for your next project.
The Cool Roof Rating Council (CRRC) implements built a rating system based on credible methods for evaluating the surface radiative properties (solar reflectance and thermal emittance)of roofing products. Through collaboration with manufacturers, government, laboratories and non-profit environmental organizations, the CRRC has been pivotal in the public’s understanding of how cool roof products can improve building efficiency and mitigate the impacts of the urban heat island effect.
Since the early days of the CRRC, the cool roof market has burgeoned with the advent of new technologies and cool colors. With numerous products available for installation on commercial and residential buildings, identifying roofing materials that meet the needs of a project can be a daunting task.
To aid in the quest for the right roofing product, the CRRC maintains the Rated Roof Products Directory, a free online resource that lists roofing products that have undergone testing, weathering, and rating in accordance with the CRRC’s strict protocols. The Rated Roof Products Directory, which was first launched 20 years ago in the fall of 2002, currently contains over 3,000 rated products, along with their initial and three-year-aged radiative properties (solar reflectance, thermal emittance, and Solar Reflectance Index (SRI)).
Designed with contractors, architects, and building owners in mind, the Rated Roof Products Directory is equipped with powerful and flexible search options to quickly identify roofing products that meet a variety of needs, such as:
1 – Increasing occupant comfort by keeping the building cooler during hot summer months*
2 – Cutting energy costs by reducing the need for air-conditioning*
3 – Meeting color and material requirements that align with a particular architectural style
*Note that the overall impacts of cool roofs may vary depending on factors such as climate zone, time of year, and energy usage patterns. Additionally, while positive impacts of implementing cool roofs can be significant, proper roof installation and maintenance are essential to achieving these benefits.
Since a growing number of local jurisdictions, states, and countries are adopting building codes, ordinances, and green programs that require roofing materials with minimum values for reflectance, emittance and/or SRI, the Rated Roof Products Directory is also an ideal resource for users looking to comply with those requirements. It is also the only database of its kind in the U.S. since the sunset of the US EPA ENERGY STAR® program for roofing products in June 2022.
The Rated Roof Products Directory is also useful for identifying products that are eligible for rebates, loans and incentives offered by government agencies and energy utilities. Visit the CRRC website for a list of various cool roof codes and programs, as well as financial incentives across the United States and Canada.
Searching the Rated Roof Products Directory
The Rated Roof Products Directory features a universal search bar that allows users to narrow down the list by manufacturer, brand, model name or CRRC product ID. If a more open-ended search is desired, users can select preset filters to identify products by type (e.g., liquid-applied coating, coated metal, tile, asphalt shingle, membrane), color, slope, market and/or minimum radiative properties. The minimum radiative properties filter is particularly useful in searching for products that comply with code requirements.
For users who are interested in data analysis, the Rated Roof Products Directory can be exported to a Microsoft Excel file. For convenience, search results can also easily be shared by clicking on the share icon.
Once a product is selected on the Rated Roof Products Directory, the user can contact the manufacturer directly, or a private contractor or roofing consultant, to assist in choosing the “coolest” product for their building or project.
What do the ratings on the Rated Roof Products directory mean?
A CRRC product rating describes the radiative performance of a roofing material; it does not indicate a ranking or approval. The “coolness” of a roof is determined by two basic properties: solar reflectance and thermal emittance. Solar reflectance (or albedo) is the fraction of solar radiation that is reflected by the roof surface, and thermal emittance is the relative ability of the roof surface to re-radiate any heat that was absorbed. Both properties are measured and rated on a scale of 0 to 1, where 1 is the most reflective or most emissive.
In addition to those two metrics, the “coolness” of a roof may also be represented by its SRI, a calculated metric that combines solar reflectance and thermal emittance into one value. SRI values are usually between 0 and 100, with particularly cool materials exceeding 100.
How do products get on the Rated Roof Products Directory?
The Rated Roof Products Directory is not limited to cool products; any roofing product can be rated in accordance with CRRC rating protocols. Roofing product manufacturers and sellers obtain CRRC product ratings with the goals of complying with adopted codes and green building programs that require roofing materials that meet minimum reflectance, emittance and/or SRI requirements.
The process to get a rating and be listed in the Rated Roof Products Directory is coordinated through the CRRC Product Rating Program. Roofing products are tested in accordance with industry standard procedures listed in the ANSI/CRRC S100 standard and the requirements described in the CRRC-1 Product Rating Program Manual (found on the CRRC website).
The rating process begins with a CRRC-approved Accredited Independent Test Lab (AITL) measuring the radiative properties of new product samples (this step is called “initial testing”). After initial testing, the product samples are sent to weathering farms (i.e., “test farms”) in three different climate zones (hot/dry, hot/humid and cool/temperate) to naturally age for three years. Aging enables us to better understand how soiling and weathering affects the radiative properties of various roofing products. After three years, the weathered samples are tested again by an AITL (“aged testing”). The aged rating is the average of the radiative property measurements from the three climate zones.
The initial and aged ratings are then published on the Rated Roof Products Directory and on CRRC labels that are printed on product packaging. Contractors, building owners and building departments can rely on the Rated Roof Products Directory or CRRC product label to obtain the radiative property information of a rated product. For the most current information, it is advisable to reference the online Rated Roof Products Directory.
The Rated Roof Products Directory also includes roofing products that have undergone the laboratory-simulated aging (i.e., accelerated aging) process to receive a CRRC Rapid Rating. This is an optional product rating process that enables manufacturers to list the laboratory-aged radiative property values on the Rated Roof Products Directory and CRRC product labels at an accelerated rate — the aging simulation is completed in less than a week! Once the product completes the required three-year weathering process, the aged ratings replace the laboratory-aged values on the Rated Roof Products Directory and CRRC product labels.
The CRRC Rated Roof Products Directory is a quick and convenient resource for identifying rated roofing products for any building project, big or small. It can be accessed on the CRRC website (coolroofs.org), along with other useful resources.
The CRRC is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization formed in 1998 to develop accurate and credible methods for evaluating and labeling the radiative properties of roofing products, and to disseminate the information to all interested parties. In 2019, the CRRC expanded to include the rating of exterior wall products. The CRRC Rated Wall Products Directory was released in September 2022.
Learn more about the Cool Roof Rating Council (CRRC) in their RoofersCoffeeShop® Directory or visit coolroofs.org