Telangana became the first State to adopt a Cool Roof Policy 2023–2028. The policy aims to keep the building thermally comfortable, heat resilient, and to reduce energy consumption. The project establishes an example for other states in India. In Telangana, about 50% of the population lives in urban areas, and it is the third-most urbanized state in the nation. There is a critical need to implement affordable and environmentally friendly cooling technologies to combat the urban heat island effect.
The Government has implemented a Cool Roof Policy to lower building temperatures in Hyderabad and other metropolitan area of the State. The State government has set a goal to “cool roof” 7.5 square kilometers in the first year, including 5 square kilometers in Hyderabad. Two hundred square kilometers in Hyderabad and 100 square kilometers throughout the rest of the State will have cool roofing by 2030.
Urban Development Minister of Telangana KT Rama Rao stated that the policy is intended to lessen the impact of heat islands and heat stress in the State. The goal of the Telangana administration was to implement it in government housing projects, buildings, roadways, sidewalks, and cycling lanes. Cool roofs are encouraged and promoted by the cool roof policy.
How does Cool Roofs work?
The Cool Roofs technology is the simplest and most affordable way to combat heat, addressed as the most efficient option. Compared to typical roofs, cool roofs can help keep indoor air temperatures down by as much as 2.1 to 4.3°C, depending on a number of factors like location, roof quality, the reflectance of the cool roof material, etc. The roofs are covered in white membranes or tiles and painted with solar reflective paint. It can lower the temperature because cool roofs absorb less solar heat than traditional roofs. Cool roof work as thermal radiators by reflecting the sunlight and reducing the heat absorbance capacity. Cool roofs reflect about 80% of the sunlight compared to conventional roofs. Additionally, cool roofs can reduce energy expenses by 20% and lengthen the roof’s life below.
According to some studies, tree plantation and installing highly reflecting pavement and roofs throughout a city could lower the ambient air temperature by 2°C during the summer.
Policy Targets for Cool Roofs
The Cool Roof Program will cover the following building as part of the program’s implementation strategy:
It is required for the following:
Commercial, non-residential, and governmental buildings, regardless of size or built-up area, cool roofing is required for all government, government-owned, non-residential, and commercial structures.
Residential: All residential structures with plot areas of 600 square yards or more are required to install cool roofs.
Optional: It is optional or voluntary for constructions with a land size of less than 600 square yards. Cool roofing is required for all government-sponsored low-income housing projects.
Period for Cool Roof Policy: The policy is effective starting on the notice date for five years. When necessary, the MA&UD department will review it.
The Global Initiatives
Leading countries like the USA and Canada have already adopted the cool roof program. With a goal of one million square feet of cool roof coverage every year, New York City launched the scheme in 2009. The city has saved 1500 tons of carbon dioxide emissions up to 2013. There are building standards in Los Angles to maintain the solar reflective index in all types of buildings. Nesta has also launched Millon Cool Roofs Challenge to implement new technologies in energy-efficient buildings.
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