Research conducted in Australia and abroad reveals interesting results for the roofing industry and the home buying public.

The roof is one of the largest external facing surfaces of a home, making the choice of roofing material an important factor in determining internal living temperatures and household energy usage.

Solar reflectance measures the amount of solar energy that is reflected back into the atmosphere after coming in contact with a given material, with the amount of solar energy reflected remaining the same strength as when it hits the material’s surface.

Solar absorption on the other hand, refers to the amount of solar energy that is transmitted into the material itself and is used as a measure to determine the amount of heat and cool energy transmitted though the building materials into the internal living areas.

According to research conducted in the USA, in a comparison of white roof tiles and white metal roofing, the roof tiles showed significantly higher reflectivity than metal roofing, reflecting a total of 75.4% of solar energy against 67.6% reflected by the metal roof.

Additionally, concrete and terracotta roof tiles were found to cause the strength of energy being transmitted to dissipate significantly. Roof tiles have high thermal mass, causing any absorbed heat to dissipate as it transfers through the material, storing and gradually releasing at night when the climate is cooler.

Mr Michael Monro, Marketing and Sales Coordinator at Bristile Roofing comments that roofing materials can make a valuable contribution to the overall thermal efficiency of the family home, keeping it cool in summer and warm in winter.

He adds that the research confirms the ability of roofing materials to minimise the need for artificial heating and cooling by reducing external temperature fluctuation, impacting the internal temperature of the house and holding major implications for the building industry and home buyers.