PMH's cool roof sheds light on UHN's commitment to sustainability

The logic was simple. PMH needed a new roof – the old roof was leaking and in desperate need of repair. The tougher part was deciding what type of roof to get. A green roof, a cool roof or sticking with the traditional, dark roof?

White Roof1.jpgFor UHN the decision was unanimous – a cool roof. It matched PMH's needs, budget and offered huge savings in energy costs.

"We started exploring options and quickly realized a cool roof was the best fit for the building," explains Debbie Dravis Heming, Project Planner, Infrastructure, UHN.

What is a cool roof?

A cool roof – which is white – reflects sunlight and redirects heat back to the atmosphere. A traditional roof transfers absorbed heat into the building below. The cool roof advantage is that it reduces the absorption of solar heat through the roof, lowering the cooling load and the energy required to power air conditioning.

White Roof2.jpgFor Rudy Dahdal, Director, Facilities, Redevelopment & Support Services at PMH, "using sustainable materials is integral to every project that we do." Rudy builds his renovation plans for PMH around energy savings and green options.

Other advantages of the cool roof at PMH include less wear and tear, the opportunity for government grants and even cooling down the area around the roof. Noticing a slightly cooler spot on University Ave? You might be able to thank the new cool roof at PMH.

"The cool roof is part of a bigger picture for UHN," says Ed Rubinstein, UHN's Manager of Energy and Environment. "We have a plan to save 4% in energy costs by 2013 and we will look at infrastructure, building materials, light fixtures, even behaviour change to hit that goal."

Not only is the cool roof at PMH actually cool, it's something to be proud of. And, something to help shape future plans for UHN.

"Many of our buildings at UHN will need future repairs," says Rudy. "When the time comes, we will do what is best for our patients, staff, facilities and environment."

- By Jessica Verhey

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