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City to expand Cool Roofs program to include nonprofit organizations


Applications for Cool Roofs, the newest servePGH initiative, are now available to nonprofit organizations.

Cool Roofs coats the roofs of city buildings with reflective white paint, making them more energy efficient. In an effort to expand the program’s impact, organizations that have been incorporated as a nonprofit through the Pennsylvania Department of State may apply for materials and resources to coat their rooftops at no cost. Applications are available here and will be accepted on a rolling basis until September 16. Special priority will be given to applications submitted by August 16.

“I am excited to expand Cool Roofs to Pittsburgh’s nonprofits, and provide the benefits of this sustainable and environmentally-friendly technology to more organizations throughout the city,” Mayor Luke Ravenstahl said. “This program expands Pittsburgh’s ‘green revolution,’ and provides support to our vital nonprofit community. Cool Roofs are also proven to reduce the urban heat island effect, an important sustainability goal for the City of Pittsburgh.”

To be eligible for Cool Roofs, nonprofit organizations must commit to both providing volunteers to carry out the coating process and reporting utility information, in exchange for in-kind materials and technical assistance. Nonprofits must also demonstrate that their roof meets the appropriate guidelines for coating, which can be found in the Cool Roofs application. An eligible roof will receive: reflective paint/primer, rollers and other paint supplies, technical assistance from the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability and Energy Efficiency, and supplies for volunteers such as sunglasses and safety guides. Benefits of coating a roof include: cooler and more comfortable building temperatures, an increase in the efficiency of roof-mounted air conditioning equipment, and protection against thermal expansion and UV radiation on the roofs, making them more durable and longer-lasting.

Funded by a $56,000 grant allocated from a Cities of Service Impact Volunteering Fund Grant and $25,000 from the City’s Green Trust Fund, Cool Roofs was first implemented in Pittsburgh in June 2013 through collaboration between the Mayor’s Office of Service and Civic Engagement (servePGH), the Mayor’s Office of Sustainability and Energy Efficiency, and the Department of Public Works. $35,000 of this funding will be allocated to the nonprofit mini-grant portion of the program. In its first year, Cool Roofs will coat approximately 50,000 square feet of City rooftops with reflective white paint, lowering the City’s CO2 emissions by an estimated 50 tons and engaging 200 volunteers.

For more information about Cool Roofs, please visit


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