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August 21, 2019
What's Your Favorite (Roof) Color?

Brian Kelly of Kemper System presented “Green, Blue, and White Roofing and Its Applicability to Sustainable Design” on August 14th

The latest seminar in our monthly continuing education series considered three options for roofing—white, blue, and green. About 95 clients and colleagues joined us for this look at roof varieties with Brian Kelly of Kemper System.

A sedum-covered roof designed by SUPERSTRUCTURES for Hostos Community College.


Thanks to gravity, roofs are the first line of defense against the elements. Their primary function has always been to divert precipitation and keep the building’s interior dry. But in recent decades, we’ve started to demand much more from roof space. It can do more than complete the building envelope; it can help increase the building’s value, enhance its program, and improve its energy efficiency. Just like white summer clothing, white roofs help reflect solar radiation to reduce heat gain. Both blue and “green” (vegetated) roofs absorb precipitation or slow the rate of runoff, easing strain on waste water systems. Local initiatives like New York City’s Climate Mobilization Act promotes green roofs and other emission-reducing measures, guiding clients’ color-coded choice.


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