Cool Roof Going In On Berkeley Lab

Secretary of Energy Steven Chu knows a thing or two about energy efficiency, and in a memo last year, he directed all U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) facilities to install cool roofs whenever cost effective. Now the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory has acted on that order by installing a new cool roof on its Advanced Light Source (ALS) building.

Berkeley Lab reports that workers this month will be scrambling up and down the iconic dome of the ALS building, tethered to safety ropes, pulling out shingles installed more than 20 years ago and getting the new ones secured. With 20,000 square feet of surface area to contend with, the Lab expects that it will take more than five weeks to complete the job.

Advanced Light Source, Berkeley Lab

image via Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

As an added factor, no more than four workers will be allowed on the dome at any one time due to safety requirements.

The ALS, a third-generation synchrotron, is an expansion of Lab founder and namesake Ernest Orlando Lawrence’s 184-inch cyclotron, built in 1940. This building was an advanced version of Lawrence’s first cyclotron, which led to his receiving the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1939.

Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.

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