Date of Award

Fall 2014

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Robert Herrick

Second Advisor

Garth O'Donnell

Committee Chair

Robert Herrick

Committee Co-Chair

Garth O'Donnell

Committee Member 1

Michael J Dyenfurth

Committee Member 2

Rajeswari Sundararajan


This study reports an energy analysis of cool, medium, and dark roofs on residential buildings in the U.S. Three analyses were undertaken in this study: energy consumption, economic analysis, and an environmental analysis. The energy consumption reports the electricity and natural gas consumption of the simulations. The economic analysis uses tools such as simple payback period (SPP) and net present value (NPV) to determine the profitability of the cool roof and the medium roof. The variable change for each simulation model was the roof color. The default color was a dark roof and the results were focused on the changes produced by the cool roof and the medium roof. The environmental analysis uses CO2 emissions to assess the environmental impact of the cool roof and the medium roof. The analysis uses the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) EnergyPlus software to produce simulations of a typical, two-story residential home in the U.S. The building details of the typical, two-story U.S. residential home and the International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) building code standards used are discussed in this study. This study indicates that, when material and labor costs are assessed, the cool roof and the medium roof do not yield a SPP less than 10 years. Furthermore, the NPV results assess that neither the cool roof nor the medium roof are a profitable investment in any climate zone in the U.S. The environmental analysis demonstrates that both the cool roof and the medium roof have a positive impact in warmer climates by reducing the CO2 emissions as much as 264 kg and 129 kg, respectively.