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Environment & Energy

Newest 'Cool Roof' to be Painted This Weekend on North Side

The city of Pittsburgh’s Cool Roof program is a newer initiative aimed at reducing energy costs in buildings. So far, five city buildings have gotten cool roofs, and on Saturday, weather permitting, Engine 37 on the North Side will also get the cool roof treatment.

“A cool roof is, in this case, a roof that is painted with white paint rather than the traditional black or dark paint roofs are traditionally painted with,” said Leslie Montgomery, spokeswoman for the Green Building Alliance. “It reflects the sun so it can decrease the temperature of the building and make it more energy efficient.”

Buildings with the reflective coating are expected to see an estimated 15 percent decrease in energy costs. When all 10 buildings are done this season, the city expects to see carbon dioxide emissions lowered by about 50 tons.

“Cool roofs is a program that’s been shown to be very successful in other cities,” said Rebecca Delphia with the mayor’s office. “We’ve learned significantly from New York City’s model, the city of Phoenix is actually replicating the program as we speak, and we’re really excited to part of that national collaborative to show that this can be a powerful tool to reduce our carbon footprint.”

Deplphia said plans are in the works to expand the cool roofs program from city buildings to nonprofits as well.

Volunteers are being sought for the cool roof painting effort this weekend. Those interested should contact servePGH at (412) 255-2280 or email