Roof coatings incorporating Dow’s new polymer can significantly reduce the air-conditioning load.

Dow Construction Chemicals (DCC), a business unit of the Dow Chemical Company, has introduced cool reflective roof coatings (CCRCs)or ‘cool roofs’ to meet the growing demand for energy-efficient technologies in the Middle East.

Developed with Henkel Polybit, a leading manufacturer of waterproofing products and allied construction chemicals, the coatings use Dow’s new water-based acrylic polymer known as Primal Ec-4642 ME, which is a critical component in CRRC formulations.

The coating was jointly launched by Henkel and DCC at a seminar in  Dubai, UAE.

The polymer, which will be manufactured at Dow’s state-of-the-art production facility in Jebel Ali, Dubai, was designed specifically to cope with the extremely warm temperatures, sun and dust in the Middle East.

The new ‘cool roof’ has already been used by Henkel Polybit on a building in Dubai and the results are being closely monitored, according to  Jovan Sarenac, Henkel IMEA (India, Middle East and Africa), steering unit manager, building materials. 

The building is owned by Trakhees-EHS (Environment, Health and Safety), an environmental pioneer and the regulatory arm of the Ports, Customers and Free Zone Corporation (PCFC).

When applied to exterior roof surfaces, cool roof coatings help reduce the air-conditioning load required in hot climates by reflecting solar heat rather than absorbing it, according to George Daisey, Global R&D (research and development) scientist at DCC.

 “Elastomeric roof coatings formulated with the new material from Dow can reduce the cost of cooling a building by as much as 20 per cent,” explains Brown Joseph, DCC business development manager for the Middle East and Africa. “We believe functional coatings such as CRRCs can not only help developers increase the value of their properties in the Middle East, thanks to better building performance, this technology can also support refurbishment and improve the energy efficiency of existing buildings.”

“Durable cool reflective roof coatings can also protect the roof from environmental degradation and help reduce the effect of peak temperatures and resulting mechanical stress, leading to an expanded life time for the roof,” Joseph continues.

CRRC formulations based on this new polymer recently received ASTM certification. “This gives peace of mind and valuable independent endorsement that technical claims have been audited by a third party. Coatings formulated with Primal Ec-4642 ME can achieve the relevant ASTM certification for liquid-applied acrylic coatings used in roofing applications,” says a spokesman for DCC.

As an added benefit, CRRCs can also help Middle East buildings achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (Leed) accreditation, thanks to their energy saving capabilities, he adds.

“Leed certification is increasing in the region as governments and the construction industry increasingly embrace the financial, performance and environmental advantages of sustainably designed buildings, and CRRC technology has an important role to play in achieving that,” says Klairie Gounaridi, strategic marketing manager for DCC for Europe, Middle East and Africa.

The new product from Dow is designed to cope with surface temperatures in excess of 80 deg C. In addition, the binder offers long-term dirt pick-up resistance – essential for maintaining the solar reflectivity which is key to achieving energy savings – and high ultraviolet (UV) resistance, critical for an applications constantly exposed to the harsh Middle East sunlight.

“We’re proud that we can bring decades of experience and technical know-how in CRRCs to this market, and believe our new material can genuinely help enable a step change in cool reflective roof coating technology in the Middle East,” concludes Joseph.