Thursday, July 30, 2009

White Roofs Would Work Very Well Across South Asia

Today's New York Times has a good piece on the advantages that come from painting roofs white, especially in hot climates at: The principle, of course, is simple: white roofs would absorb less heat than those of any other color. Scientists argue about how much of a difference this would make in the colder parts of the USA, for example, in winter, when white roofed homes would have to be heated more. But there is a clear market for this in the part of the world that I come from: South Asia.

Much of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka is hot to extremely hot for most of the year. The region receives sunlight for several hours a day for most of the year. In the past, homes either had thatched roofs, or some like the one where I was born and spent the first twelve years of my life, had twenty foot ceilings in the pre-airconditioner era. Now, of course, with multi-storey apartment buildings all over the region and with booming populations forcing the construction of even more of these shoebox-stacks, one option that could help is white roofs. Hopefully, someone will take heed in that part of the world. This is as simple as an idea can get - and the savings when we consider that the region has one and a half billion residents - should be huge.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed!


manu said...

I guess White Roof is very applicable in my country. Sad thing is that 95% of Filipinos are yet unaware of the renewable energy. I But i do hope in the near future we will start embracing the green tech.

Mehul Kamdar said...

Green habits and policy come slowly everywhere in the world - India is not really different from the Philippines in this respect. My hope is that with increasing awareness green ideas can become more attractive to people everywhere. It is just a question of getting the message across to people who may be unaware of what they would like to do, even when they are interested in doing something good sometimes.

Thank you very much for posting here and best wishes!