Color, Climate and Architecture; How your Florida project is affected by your color choices. It is no secret that the color choices you make for your project will have an effect on your heating and cooling bill. However, most project owners be it residential or commercial architecture are unaware of how this critical design choice affects your bottom line. In a state like Florida, the sunshine state, lighter colors will lessen the heat gain by the sun and therefore decrease your overall cooling bill. Darker colors may be more appropriate for northern climates where heat gain in winter may be the desired result. Color, along with material have what is called “Albedo”. It is an index from 0-1. One, or “high Albedo” simply means that all of the heat is stored in a material and not reflected. This is a product of the color plus the material. A low Albedo .5 or lower is desirable for finishes and color particularly as it relates to Florida Architecture.
Another positive affect of this choice is it reduces what is called the overall “heat island affect”. This is the contribution of your project to the overall microclimate. This overall heating up of your neighborhood can increase dramatically if all of the roofs, yards and streets are darker, or black in color. The heat is stored in these materials, then released thus increasing the overall temperature of your neighborhood and as a result will increase your cooling bill.
Not only is color choice an important aesthetic choice, it is a critical component to mitigating the adverse effect on the climate. Good for the environment, and good for your pocket book, now that is smart design!