For the roofing professional seeking to compare the energy-savings potential of different roofing systems, many well-designed calculators are available to help. Currently, you can find a wide variety of (mostly free) web-based calculators to evaluate almost every element of roof-related energy, including roof thermal insulation, “cool” roof surfaces, air/moisture movement, rooftop solar power, and skylight systems. But how do you go about tying all these different calculators together to achieve a reasonable and simple estimate of total energy savings?
The good news is that a simple tool has been developed to allow you to make fast and comprehensive roof energy comparisons. This “calculator of calculators” was developed by Dr. Jim Hoff, Research Director for the Center for Environmental Innovation in Roofing and the instructor for HeatSpring’s Commercial Roofing Boot Camp. Based on the energy criteria of the well-known RoofPointCM Guideline for Environmentally Innovative Roofing Systems, the calculator provides a comprehensive modeling tool to measure the benefit of all available energy-related sustainable roofing strategies, including:
- Using high-R thermal roof insulation
- Reducing thermal “shorts” in roof system design
- Adding a roof air barrier
- Using a reflective roof surface or other cool roof alternatives
- Adding rooftop PV or solar thermal systems
- Adding rooftop daylighting
The RoofPoint Energy and Carbon Calculator allows you to evaluate different roof system designs to see which system saves the most energy for your customer. You can set the insulation level from R-10 to R-35, select from six different roof surfaces, and add a wide variety of additional energy savers such as air barriers, photovoltaic (PV) panels, solar thermal collectors, skylights, and more. And you can compare roofs in 13 major cities representing each of the major North American climate zones.
When you’ve completed your comparison, the total energy used and produced by your roof will be converted into a single energy unit to allow direct comparison with any other roof. And as a bonus, the calculator also converts the energy into an estimate of the carbon “footprint” of the roof in order to look at the roof’s overall impact on global warming or climate change.
Finally the best news is that the RoofPoint Energy and Carbon Calculator is available at no charge. To get your copy of the calculator as well as a recent paper describing how the calculator works, simply follow this link:
To learn more about how this calculator may be used to increase your expertise as a roofing professional, consider enrolling in HeatSpring’s Commercial Roofing Boot Camp. During this ten-week course, you’ll be able to listen to step-by-step videos from Dr. Hoff that take you through the RoofPoint calculator as well as over a dozen additional roofing calculators and web-based tools. The goal of the course is to give aspiring roofing professionals the tools needed to add – and sell – value to their roofing clients.