Smart Cities

Cool roofsSustainable home building

Study into thermal performance of roof colour

Modern homes use a lot of energy maintaining a comfortable temperature. How can we design and build sustainable modern homes that are comfortable and energy efficient?

We know dark coloured surfaces tend to absorb more heat than light surfaces, but does this apply to roof surfaces? And if so, are houses with light coloured roofs cooler in summer than houses with dark coloured roofs?

Can we make a significant reduction in the costs of running an air conditioner by installing a light coloured roof?

What about outside, is the trend towards dark coloured roofs directly impacting temperatures in our neighbourhoods?

To answer these questions we are conducting a research project to determine whether roof colour makes a difference to the temperature inside a home and to the temperature of the street.

Do you want to build a sustainable home?

A sustainable home will

  • Keep you comfortable in summer and winter
  • Save you money on your energy bills
  • Be environmentally friendly
  • Doesn't have to cost you more than a conventional home

Click on the Sustainable home building button above for more info

benefits of building a sustainable home

Real-time temperature snapshot

We have placed sensors in two display houses of comparable build and orientation. One with a light roof, one with a dark roof. Each house has 18 sensors measuring the temperature and humidity of the indoor living areas as well as ceiling cavity, roof surface and outdoor temperature. These sensors allow us to view real time comparisons.

NOTE: Real-time temperature data is available only when the house is unoccupied. Average temperature data is available at all times.

Comparing temperature in houses with light and dark roofs

Take a closer look at how the indoor and outdoor temperatures of a light and dark roof compare over time.

Data summary

This unique project by Switch your thinking provides information, collected in real time, to potential home buyers. Utilising Wi-Fi temperature monitoring, heat mapping and infrared imaging, we’re increasing public awareness of the impact of roof colour and passive solar design.