The Cool Roof Rating Council (CRRC) has accredited the Fresno, Calif., Laboratory facility of Architectural Testing Inc. (ATI) as an accredited independent testing laboratory (AITL). The facility, which tests solar performance of the entire building envelope, is one of seven AITLs nationwide. As such, it is authorized to test roofing materials of all types for solar reflectance (the ability to reflect the visible, infrared, and ultraviolet wavelengths of the sun) and thermal emittance (the ability to radiate absorbed or non-reflected solar energy). Roofs that achieve high readers qualify as “cool roofs,” as by reducing solar heat transfer to the building below, they also reduce energy costs and extend air-conditioner unit life. Solar reflectance and thermal emittance measures may be combined to determine a Solar Reflective Index (SRI) and aged ratings also are possible. For the latter, product samples are exposed for three years at a CRRC-approved test farm.
The CRRC has created a rating system for measuring and reporting solar reflectance and thermal emittance of any roofing product. Manufacturers seeking a rating must become a licensee and then send product samples to a CRRC-accredited AITL for initial testing. ATI’s Fresno Laboratory uniquely offers a complete delivered package of laboratory testing and exposure farm testing via subcontract (CRRC rules do not permit solar farm testing by the same entity performing laboratory testing) for a total CRRC rating evaluation package.