The Astoria White Roof Project is painting black roofs throughout the neighborhood with a white solar-reflective coating, which keeps the roofs at an ambient temperature, thereby cooling down the inside of the building.
Reverend Paul Milholland said the rectory was built in 1895 has two flat roofs that can heat up to 180 degrees in the summer months.
Councilman Peter Vallone, Jr. helped paint the roof on Trinity Church last week, the first roof to get repainted through the project.
“With temperatures and energy costs both rising, white roofing is a simple way for people to save some green while being green, “ said Vallone. “I hopeful it will save residents money, help out the environment and prevent more blackouts like the one we suffered eight years ago.”
In Astoria the project, sponsored in part by USPowerGen and Great White Coatings, will target low-income and nonprofit buildings to help save money on electricity bills by using less air conditioning.
“From our perspective energy is a commodity that should be treated as a scarce one,” said John Reese, senior vice president to USPowerGen. “It should be used as efficiently as possible and white roofs are great for that.”
In the process, two products are mixed together to create a substance that will become a solid in roughly 45 minutes. The product does not smell or include harsh chemicals, something that makes it attractive to schools and hospitals.
Jeff Copper, CEO of Epox-Z the company that manufactures the caoting for Great White Coatings proved the product was harmless, sticking his right index finder in a bucket of the mixture and spooning some into his mouth.
When asked how his stomach would feel in 45 minutes when the substance hardens into a solid he replied, “I’ve been doing this for years and I’m not dead yet.”