Extreme Temperatures at the Outer Surfaces of Buildings

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Series titleCanadian Building Digest; no. 47
Physical description5 p.
SubjectRoofing; surface temperature; walls; roofs; solar radiation; colour; Building envelope
AbstractThe maximum temperature of the outer surface of any building depends mainly on its colour and orientation. The colour and proximity of neighbouring surfaces also have a significant effect on surface temperature. Analysis has shown that dark roof surfaces may reach temperatures of the order of 230 degrees F in summer and fall a few degrees below the minimum air temperature in winter. It is important, therefore, to be sure that any proposed roofing system with a dark surface can operate satisfactorily at temperatures varying between -50 and 230 degrees F. If a light coloured surface is used to reduce the maximum temperature it is important to be sure that the surface will retain a low value of short-wave absorptivity over its entire service life. The maximum temperature for a wall surface is between 140 and 190 degrees F, depending on colour and proximity to reflecting surfaces. If external shading devices are used they should have a dark surface that will absorb the radiation incident on them rather than reflect it onto adjacent wall or window surfaces. It is important, however, not to darken the colour of an outer surface until it has been established that its new shade will not cause the temperature of the wall materials to exceed their allowable values.
PublisherDivision of Building Research. National Research Council Canada
AffiliationNRC Institute for Research in Construction; National Research Council Canada
NoteAussi disponible en français : Températures extrêmes à la surface extérieure des bâtiments
Peer reviewedNo
NRC number1773
NPARC number20327892
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Record identifier50653a9d-319f-41e4-992f-7dd5b80b15c8
Record created2012-07-18
Record modified2016-05-09
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