South Pittsburgh Reporter - Serving South Pittsburgh Since 1939

Mayor announces energy saving 'Cool Roofs' initiative


Mayor Luke Ravenstahl was joined by Lindsay Baxter, a project manager with the Pennsylvania Environmental Council, and Mount Washington Community Development Corp. Executive Director Jason Kambitsis to announce the Cool Roofs program. The program joins volunteers with city workers to coat the roofs of city buildings to make them more energy efficient.

Mayor Luke Ravenstahl along with volunteers and community members were on Mount Washington last Wednesday to launch the Cool Roofs program, a new servePGH initiative that will coat the roofs of 10 city-owned buildings with reflective paint, making them more energy efficient.

Following the kickoff event later in the week, community volunteers were scheduled to paint the roof of Fire Engine 27 in Mt. Washington in the program’s first step to lower the city’s CO2 emissions and reduce Pittsburgh’s carbon footprint.

“Cool Roofs is another volunteer-fueled step forward in our efforts to make Pittsburgh a greener, more sustainable City,” Mayor Ravenstahl said. “By reducing internal building temperatures, we will decrease our energy usage, lower our carbon footprint and reduce operating costs – saving taxpayer dollars. Cool Roofs showcases our commitment to Pittsburgh’s sustainable future and the tremendous impact of volunteerism our city.”

The Cool Roofs program, based on the Cities of Service Cool Roofs Blueprint, will equip Pittsburgh with more sustainable and energy-efficient buildings by coating city-owned buildings with white reflective paint, reducing internal building temperature by up to 30 percent and lowering CO2 emissions. In its first year, 10 roofs will be coated, covering approximately 50,000 square feet and reducing the city’s CO2 emissions by 50 tons.

The City’s Department of Public Works will work with volunteers to clean and paint the roofs, and all will receive safety and instruction training. Organizations interested in volunteering, in groups of 10-20 volunteers aged 18 or older, should contact servePGH at 412-255-2280 or email

Funded by $56,000 allocated from a Cities of Service Impact Volunteering Fund Grant and $25,000 from the City’s Green Trust Fund, Cool Roofs is a combined effort between Mayor Ravenstahl’s Office of Service & Civic Engagement, Office of Sustainability and Energy Efficiency and the Department of Public Works.

The City of New York, the first city to implement Cool Roofs, has continually donated its time and resources to help bring Cool Roofs to Pittsburgh. Additionally, the Student Conservation Association has offered support through the Green Cities Fellow Corps and the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority provided water bottles for volunteers.

For more information about Cool Roofs, a calendar of painting dates and other project information, visit


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