Take action

NYC CoolRoofs

NYC CoolRoofs provides New Yorkers with paid training and work experience installing energy-saving reflective rooftops.

NYC CoolRoofs trainees coat a rooftop with white reflective paint

NYC CoolRoofs trainees coat a rooftop with white reflective paint

A cool roof reflects incoming sunlight to keep buildings and their surroundings cooler. NYC CoolRoofs was launched in 2009 as a volunteer-based program to support New York City’s efforts to combat climate change. In 2015, the program was transitioned to a workforce development training opportunity to provide job seeking New Yorkers with the opportunity to earn paid work experience and credentials in the construction sector. This initiative is a partnership between the NYC Department of Small Business Services, its Workforce1 Industrial & Transportation Career Center, the Mayor’s Office of Climate and Environmental Justice, and The HOPE Program.

During a typical summer day, flat, black asphalt rooftops can reach temperatures up to 190°F which is 90° hotter than the surrounding air temperature!

Cool rooftops can reduce internal building temperatures by up to 30%, making the building cooler and more comfortable during the hot summer months.

New York City can be up to five degrees hotter than surrounding areas due to greater amounts of dark surfaces, such as roofs and roads, and less shading from vegetation. Clusters of cool roofs can help keep ambient temperatures lower.

Every 2,500 square feet of roof that is coated can reduce the city’s carbon footprint by 1 ton of CO2 and help fight climate change.

Cool roofs lower air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions by reducing power demand.

A Cool Roof coating better regulates a roof’s temperature as compared to typical rooftop surfaces. By decreasing the roof temperature and cooling loads, the life of the rooftop and cooling equipment can be extended.

NYC CoolRoofs offers cool roof installations at no cost or low cost to select buildings as outlined below, with priority given to non-profits and affordable housing.

No-cost installations are offered to:

  • Non-profits
  • Affordable/low-income housing
  • Community or recreational centers
  • Schools/colleges/universities
  • Hospitals or medical care clinics
  • Museums/theaters/other cultural centers
  • Select cooperatively owned housing.

Low-cost installations are offered to:

  • All other building owners that cover the cost of the coating, which is provided at a discounted rate through vendors participating in the NYC CoolRoofs program. NYC CoolRoofs will provide the labor, technical assistance, and materials (e.g. paint brushes, rollers, gloves, etc.) at no charge if the building owner(s) pays for the coating.

Your building must meet all of the following criteria to be eligible for coating with the NYC CoolRoofs Program.

  • The rooftop must be flat
  • The rooftop must be in good condition with minimal cracking
  • The roof must be easily accessible (no hatch, ladder, or window access)
  • The roof must be free of dangerous machinery or equipment that could impede work or put workers at risk
  • The roof must have appropriate 3’8” parapet
  • The roof must be one of the following types:
    • Granulated cap sheet
    • Asphalt
    • Modified bitumen
    • Bitumen

Related Initiatives

All Initiatives

Take Action

When we bring our voices, our action, and our advocacy to our schools, our homes, and our workplaces, we can create a more sustainable and resilient future for the 8.6 million people who call our five boroughs home.

Take Action Now

Explore Related Work