Summer in Texas means high energy consumption to power cooling units, and Dallas-area commercial facilities are required to meet certain R-value insulation criteria to keep in compliance with building codes and energy usage guidelines. During the summer, high demand on the Texas power grid may lead to brownouts or rolling blackouts. Replacing a commercial roof improves a building’s energy rating and consumption, and this can lessen demand for electricity. Complying with R-value requirements not only saves energy, but also lowers energy costs over the life of a commercial roof and adds value to the building.
In relation to building code, R-value means resistance to thermal transfer. The less heat can travel via conduction through an insulating material to heat a building, the higher the R-value. The building’s overall construction also contributes to the energy envelope, taking into account not only conduction, but also heat transfer via convection, radiation, and air infiltration.
Different components of buildings and materials must meet different R-value requirements, with roofs as the main focus of improving a building’s energy envelope. The Dallas Energy Code requires commercial roof R-values that range from R15 to R30, depending on the type of roof installed. Organizations such as ASHRAE (The American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, and Air-Conditioning Engineers) recommend a non-residential roof R-value of at least 25 for national climate zone 3, which includes Dallas.
Roofs are designed to last anywhere between 10 and 60 years, depending on both the type of roof installed and maintenance, and older buildings may not meet modern roof R-value requirements. Texas building codes prohibit installation of more than two roofs on a commercial building. While some older roofs may be repaired and R-values improved by adding a second roof, replacement may be required in the case of a badly damaged or deteriorated roof. A proper inspection, followed by repair or replacement, can bring preexisting commercial building roofs into compliance.
The cost of repairs to or complete replacement of a commercial roof can be prohibitive, but it is a necessary expense to keep in compliance with Dallas R-value code requirements. Higher R-values from a repaired or replaced roof can improve an older building’s energy envelope and reduce energy waste. This leads to lower utility costs both upon completion of construction and over the life of the roof, which increases the market value of the building. Adhering to building codes saves energy and money in the long term, making an upgraded roof a solid investment for Dallas commercial facilities.