Active Roof Systems Engineering Overview

Active Architecture Technologies Inc.® Introduces
the Active Hybrid Roof - "The Roof that Pays for Itself"


  1. Passively cools the building at night
  2. Reflects and insulates your building from summer's heat
  3. Heats your building in the winter months
  4. Reduces the sun's heat absorbed into a building five to eight times
  5. Filters and disinfects indoor air and improves IAQ (indoor air quality)


Active Roof Systems vs. Conventional Cool Roofs

One of the latest discussions in home and commercial construction is the subject of using Cool Roofs to help reduce air conditioning costs, peak energy loads, and to improve the comfort inside buildings during hot weather. This report will outline the many benefits of a time-tested study on the new Active Roof Technologies Inc.® roofing systems that perform better than any roof on the market including Cool Roofs. Through a sophisticated and professional analysis, it has been confirmed that Active Roof Technologies'® patented and patent pending heating and cooling systems will revolutionize the construction industry.

An Overview

Active Roof Technologies® products significantly improve the insulating qualities of your roof and building, keeping interior spaces cooler when it's hot outside, and markedly decreasing air conditioning requirements and energy costs in summer months. This is accomplished by a patented and patent pending system that combines an integral heat reflecting thermal barrier with a multi-layer insulating system that thermally insulates and also decouples the roof from the building, insulating and reflecting the heat away from the roof, unlike any other roof ".

Active Roof Systems™ reduce both air-conditioning costs in the summer and heating costs in the winter, which makes the Active Roof System™ the "Best Year Round Roofing System™ on the market today. The exclusive Passive Solar Cooling System™ cools the building at night and reduces heat penetration and migration through the roof attic and walls into the building during hot weather.


Active Roof Systems™ block heat from the sun radiating into the attic and building. The Active Roof System™ reflects, insulates and decouples the roof from the building which leaves the interior spaces more comfortable and significantly lowers air conditioning costs and energy.

"Cool Roofs" and the Performance Option

ASHRAE standard 90.1 defines a Cool Roof as having a minimum solar reflectance of 0.70 and a minimum thermal emittance of 0.75.

California's Title 24 Energy Code has adopted the same emittance and reflectance value as the ASHRAE Cool Roof definition. California has also adopted a performance option to satisfy the code which recognizes that the goal is to reduce heating and air-conditioning use - especially during PEAK LOAD HOURS. That said, the Active Roof System™ falls under California and federal exception rules pertaining to a Cool Roof requirement.

A typical dark colored roof, like black asphalt shingles, can increase roof skin temperatures by as much as 100°F, reaching skin temperatures of 150-205°F. An average attic in California will often range from 140 to 165°F on hot days.

"No Attic or Walls Are Air Tight"

Air tends to penetrate into buildings through attics, exposed beam ceilings, crawl spaces, holes and gaps - especially on windy days - and mix with inside air. Heat radiates and also blows through gaps in the construction and insulation within ceilings and walls and makes the building interior hotter using more energy.

With an Active Roof System™, interior attic space temperatures can be lowered to 3° to 5° F above outside ambient temperatures; this far exceeds the performance for both standard roofs and "Cool Roofs". On hot summer days, when a standard roof might produce attic space temperatures of 165° F, an Active Roof System™ can produce an attic space temperature of only 95° F.

In the summer, an Active Roof System™ beats both standard roofs and Cool Roofs performance by thermally insulating, decoupling and reflecting the sun's heat. The Active Roof System™ has a thermal resistance that is approximately 6 to 8 times greater than asphalt shingles, tile, and other roofing materials.

Tile and concrete roofs behave similar to thermal mass which both stores and transmits the sun's heat during daylight hours. A conventional roof continues to release the stored heat back into the building all night long.

Real World Performance for Active Roof Systems

The actual performance of Active Roof System™ was monitored and tested in Minden, Nevada (10 miles east of Lake Tahoe) for over 10 years. During this time, Active Roof System™ far exceeded performance expectations that were based upon engineering calculations. The data has consistently shown that interior attic temperatures were 3° to 10° F above (outside) ambient temperatures.

With no attic fans, the test structure (2,700 sq foot home) is representative of typical 20 year old stick frame building construction with a 4:12 roof pitch. The attic space was insulated from the living space below with R-19 fiberglass insulation, and all of the eaves and roof attic venting was blocked to simulate a "worst case" scenario, (an older building) leaving just two small attic dormers ( 18" X 18" ventilation area) to vent roughly 1,200 square feet of attic space.

Prior to the installation of the Active Roof System™, interior attic space temperatures were typically 40° to 50° F above ambient (roughly 130° to 150° F). The addition of the Active Roof System™ to the test building drastically reduced summer time heat entering the building (with an average outside temp of 90° to 98° F) which drastically saved energy and money.

Peak Energy Load Reduction

Heat waves are famous for overstressing the Electric Power Grid. Installing an Active Roof System™ does its part to save energy and fossil fuels (especially during peak loads). This system reduces energy costs, pollution, "Heat Island Effect*" and reduces the load on "The Grid."

How Much Can I Save?

If you reduce your cooling load by 1 ton or 12,000 BTUs this equals approximately 1 1/2 horsepower (when you include a compressor fan and circulation fan).

What does this mean for a home or commercial structure? Here's an example: With a 4,200 square feet of an Active Roof System™ you could capture over 270,000 BTU (British Thermal Unit) per hour or over 1 MILLION BTU'S PER DAY when the sun is shining brightly on your roof; this would translate to an energy savings of roughly 10 therms. With natural gas, this equates to a $12.00 savings per day; with propane you would see a savings of $42.00 per day; with heating oil you would recognize a savings of $30.00 per day at today's energy prices.

For architects and builders concerned with LEED certification, Active Roof's Passive Cooling Systems™ contribute points towards LEED certification.

Indoor Heating with An Active Roof® When It's Cold Outside

In the winter, Active Roof Systems™ can capture over 50% of the sun's heat and, by the use of our Air Management Containment System™, it circulates the sun's heat into warm air for heating the interior of your building - at almost no cost.

Must an Active Roof System point toward the sun?

Active Roof Systems™ work best with southern, western and eastern exposures. No other solar system can make this claim. The system can work well with northern exposures that have low roof pitches and clear view of the sun. Flat roofs work exceptionally well for year round energy savings.

What does this mean for your building?

This means that even in cold climates (with outside temps of 20°F or less) an Active Roof System™ can produce warm air temperatures of over 100°F.

A well insulated home or building, with a significant amount of internal thermal mass for heat storage, could significantly reduce your heating bills up to 50% or more. For homes or buildings that do not meet this well-insulated criteria, an Active Roof System™ installation could reduce heating requirements during the daylight hours on sunny days and significantly reduce day time heating on moderately cloudy days.

For engineering purposes, figure on your Active Roof System™ capturing 25% of the available heat for the installed surface area of your Active Roof System.

How Does it Work?

The Active Roof System™ uses the large surface area of a roof to maximize collection of solar heat that strikes the roof surface. Our exclusive Solanar™ coatings conduct heat into the Active Roof System's™ Air Management Chamber™ where an electronic Energy Management System™ circulates the heated air where needed. In the winter, this free energy is used to heat the inside of a home or building. In the summer, Active Roof Systems™ use our Passive Solar Cooling System™ to cool the structure at night; it also significantly reduces absorption of unwanted heat from the sun. This dramatically cuts energy demands for cooling - which saves money, reduces "Heat Island Effect*" and reduces import of fossil fuels.

How Much Energy Does it Take to Operate the Active Roof ™?

When an Active Roof System™ is heating your home or building, the fan consumes relatively little energy. Each zone typically uses less energy than a single 100 watt light bulb!

When temperatures are hot, the Active Roof System™ becomes a passive cooling system that lowers your air conditioning bill with little to no energy use.

Improving IAQ (Indoor Air Quality) with Active Roof ™

Whenever an Active Roof System™ is heating or cooling a building, the system's air circulation fan re-circulates air from the living space through the Active Roof's IAQ System™ . This system cleans and disinfects the air as it is circulated throughout the home or building.

Free Make-Up Air

Active Roof Technologies® offers an optional Make-up Air System™ that mixes outside make-up air through a metered air distribution process - where the Active Roof's System™ heats the cold outside make-up air by the sun's heat at no cost or use of fossil fuels. This also improves IAQ without costing the consumer money.

Each Active Roof System™ contains a whole house or building IAQ system that utilizes a MERV 8 to 13-filtration system that may include one or more Ultraviolet Light Systems to dramatically improve indoor air quality. Each system is designed to remove approximately 90% of indoor airborne dusts, pollens, molds, spores, bacteria and viruses to help reduce allergies, colds, and other infections and illnesses. Whenever the air is circulated through the Active Roof System™, your building's indoor air is filtered and treated for improved health with almost no added energy costs.

(This study was done in conjunction with Active Roof and other a third party engineers.)

* Active Roof Systems™ Reduce "Heat Island Effect"

There's lots of talk about "painting the world white" because of the results of "Heat Island Effect" in the cities. Using an Active Roof System™ will greatly reduce "Heat Island Effect" world-wide as it:

  1. Significantly reduces air conditioning requirements
  2. Reduces heat generated by power plants
  3. Reduces heat generative by HVAC systems
  4. Reduces pollution generative by power plants
  5. Reduces energy demand on The Grid
  6. Reduces the use of fossil fuels
  7. Reduces the use of imported oil
  8. Reduces maintenance costs
  9. Reduces energy costs
  10. Provides more LEED points
(This study was done in conjunction with Active Roof Technologies® and other independent engineers and consultants.)

The roof that pays
for itself.

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Contact us today for more information: 775-783-9128