AS Strategic Energy Plan says low cost “cool roofs” could be island-wide soon
U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu launched a series of initiatives in July 2010 to encourage cool-roof technologies within the federal government and according to the American Samoa Strategic Energy Plan (ASSEP), Secretary Chu directed all Energy Department offices to install cool roofs (whenever cost effective) over the lifetime of the roof—when constructing new or replacing old roofs, and in areas where cool roofs will be beneficial to energy efficiency savings (typically in hot climates).
The ASSEP, which was drafted locally, will be implemented by the American Samoa Renewable Energy Committee (ASREC) headed up by the Territorial Energy Office and the American Samoa Power Authority. It takes into account solutions that are needed in the near future, and refers to cool roofs as one of those solutions.
According to the report, a cool roof program could be implemented island-wide by using low-cost technologies, such as Elastomeric paint (~$40/gallon), which would need to be applied to roofs and maintained through a cleaning program (to prevent debris and mold build-up).
(More information about selecting buildings and implementing a cool-roof program can be found on the Dept. of Energy website).
In addition to cool roofs, the report also promotes certain building designs to include the following:
• Promote energy and water conservation design features in major renovation and new development projects;
• Encourage efficient use of water and reduce runoff through the use of natural drainage, landscaping techniques and efficient irrigation systems;
• Promote head-load reduction strategies by using landscaping to shade and designs that maximize tree canopies to reduce heat build-up;
• One lower-cost option in buildings with no requirements for conditioning for moisture control is to install ceiling fans. Where moisture buildup is not a concern, it may be possible to utilize natural ventilation (from breezes and open structures of windows, doors, etc.), and ceiling fans, which are in operation only when needed. There may be open structures where this could be a suitable option;
• Plant ‘green roofs’ when possible (may be a lower cost option to consider in building design integration). Where roofs are flat and structurally sound, they can be used to plant vegetation, which not only provides a thermal barrier, but also creates a wicking-type action. The wicking of moisture and heat upwards and out of the building is beneficial in reducing cooling loads in buildings; and
• Encourage the installation of energy saving roofing materials.
The Strategic Energy Plan for American Samoa will initiate strategy and actions towards achievable goals to be completed by Oct. 2016.
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