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What Is A Cool Roof? A Pro Explains This Affordable, Energy Efficient System

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Cool roofs can be a little confusing, since they don't all look the same. A cool roof can be a coating, or a bunch of reflective tiles. It's usually a bright color, but not always white. In some ways, a cool roof is more of a concept, but it does have a few defining characteristics: it absorbs less heat, reflects more sunlight, and can dramatically reduce your energy consumption.

To better understand the function and benefits of cool roofs, we turned to Rory Stout, a roofer who specializes in these systems. Stout has been running Be Cool Roof Coatings in Philadelphia since 2011, and he worked on LEED construction sites in New Orleans before that. He broke down the basics of cool roofs, as well as the shifting trends he's seen in sustainable design, for us below.