Examining the Effects of Cool Walls in Hawaii
April 17, 2018
TEX·COTE® COOLWALL® and REFLECT-TEC®
Patented heat-reflective technology makes dark colors think they are lighter by reducing exterior wall and roof temperatures by as much as 40oF because they are, on average, 100% more reflective than traditional paints and coatings.
Hawaii Code and Cooling Effect of Cool Walls
Hawaii code requires that all steel-frame homes have an exterior insulation that complies with R-4.2. This exterior insulation adds costs of up to $8,000 to a home’s initial cost, requiring 43 years to pay back when compared to the energy savings each year (for a standard 2000 ft2 home).
The walls with a visible light reflectance of 0.64 or higher yields the same effect as the exterior insulation. This reduction can be achieved with paint, which is a more cost-effective way of obtaining these savings.
A local school in Hawaii, Laie Elementary School, reported elevated temperatures within the classrooms. As seen in the above image, the internal temperature was around 88oF. The outside wall of the classroom was a dark green, resulting in the capture and retention of most of the sun’s solar energy. Together, with the students and the permission of the school, the wall outside the classroom was painted a lighter green the same day and the internal temperature of the classroom was measured later that afternoon.
By simply changing the outside wall’s color, the classroom’s internal temperature dropped to 83oF, a temperature reduction of 5oF. This reading was also taken later in the day when the temperature is projected to be higher; therefore, it is expected that this change in wall color would account for a temperature drop greater than the 5oF reported.
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