By Matt Dobson, Vice President, Vinyl Siding Institute
Good news: a new energy efficiency opportunity has been identified for polymeric cladding. In the future, some polymeric cladding could claim the label as a “cool” wall product. Over 20 years ago, “cool” roofs were established as a form of energy efficiency in southern U.S. climate zones. Now, some polymeric cladding will have an opportunity to be a part of this energy efficiency movement as a cool wall product.
The cool concept measures the ability of a material (and color) to reflect and emit energy– in this case, solar energy. Having a certain level of this cool concept, or reflectivity, enable buildings, including homes, to reduce the cooling load because less energy is absorbed and kept. In the bigger view, these cool concepts can also help reduce heat island effect, which is more evident in higher density settings where increased temperature rise is regularly noticed compared to less dense surrounding areas.
As part of this initiative, the VSI has been working as a Steering Committee member over the last year and there is now a general consensus that this could be an excellent opportunity for our industry, especially considering where housing starts are strongest in the country’s southern climates.
Over the next few months, VSI will focus on two main areas:
VSI members will have the opportunity to discover whether their products rate and certify as cool wall products in 2021. Stay tuned for details in the coming months.