20 Manhattan roofs go green with coat of white | Crain’s New York Business

20 Manhattan roofs go green with coat of white | Crain’s New York Business.

Effort to paint 35,000 square feet of rooftop acreage in Lower East Side white seen as making them 25% more energy efficient; project hailed as model for the city.

In what is deemed as a model program for energy conservation, the roofs of buildings on one block in the Lower East Side will be painted with white reflective paint, the Manhattan Borough President’s office announced Monday morning.

Borough President Scott Stringer, along with Go Green! Lower East Side and a coalition of community groups, announced that 35,000 square feet of rooftop space will be painted with white paint. The paint, which reflects 90% of sunlight, is expected to reduce cooling costs and electricity bills for tenants at 20 buildings managed by the Cooper Square Mutual Housing Association, a low-income housing management company that helps to preserve and develop affordable housing.

“White roof painting is a strategy that is environmental and economical,” said Mr. Stringer, in a press statement. “This is a model that can be replicated throughout New York City as a way to modernize and sustain our affordable housing stock.”

The 20 buildings are located on a single block, running from East Fourth and East Third streets between Second Avenue and the Bowery. The roofs will be painted by volunteers from nonprofit groups FABnyc, The White Roof Project and NYC° CoolRoofs, a city initiative that encourages building owners to cool their rooftops by using reflective white paint.

“We welcome and enthusiastically support the White Roof initiative which will make our building roofs as much as 25% more energy efficient, thus lowering our electrical and fuel costs,” said Val Orselli, executive director of Cooper Square Mutual Housing, in a statement. “We are hopeful that this innovative program can be extended to the rest of our Lower East Side community.”

The roof painting is the first phase of an environmental sustainability program called the Model Block Project that will showcase a single block in New York City pursuing sound practices that enable residents to save money, as well as be environmentally conscious.

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