Roofing: Design vs. Impact

When designing a house, there are often many decisions that people focus on. Room size. Layout. What finishes to choose? While the final decisions are left up to what’s in trend or most popular. These days, it’s not hard to drive around and see the popularity of a dark coloured roof. Sleek in its design, it is clear why it has become a popular choice, but what are the ramifications once living in your new abode?

Just as many choose a white car over the darker option available, the same heat absorption process occurs in your household. During solar radiation, the roof cavity of a home with a darker roof will heat up more than one with a lighter colour. Below the roof we have a combination of sarking materials and insulation that will work as a barrier, but these do not stop heat leaking into our homes. This effect is most notable in summer as we need to pump the air-conditioning to keep the house at a liveable temperature. As we are living in a changing climate, this decision will become increasingly beneficial as time passes.

Another effect we can see as a result of the changing climate is the Urban Heat Island Effect. In the same way that we can see the heat radiating of a hot bitumen road, houses with dark roofs create a similar effect. This paired with small blocks of residential land and the absence of tree canopies shading roofs, we end up with hotter local environments. This increases the further we are away from the coast or in the absence of cooling breezes.

So my recommendation is to buck the trend and be part of the solution by choosing a lighter colour roofing material.