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NYC CoolRoofs

Helping the Environment and Saving Energy

NYC CoolRoofs provides New Yorkers with paid training and work experience installing energy-saving reflective rooftops. The program supports the City of New York's goal to reach carbon neutrality by 2050.

This initiative is a partnership between the NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS), its Workforce1 Industrial & Transportation Career Center, the Mayor's Office of Climate and Environmental Justice and The HOPE Program.

Learn More About NYC CoolRoofs

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About NYC CoolRoofs

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 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. The program has an annual goal of installing one million square feet of rooftops while engaging local property owners, community partners, workforce training organizations, and volunteers throughout the process.

Benefits of Cool Roofs for Buildings

Reduce roof temperatures

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

Reduce internal building temperatures

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

Reduce the Urban Heat Island Effect 

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.

Reduce carbon emissions

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

Improve air quality 

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

Extend the lifespan of rooftops and HVAC equipment 

A CoolRoof 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.

Source: New York City Panel on Climate Change 2015 Report, Chapter 6: Indicators and Monitoring.

Request a Cool Roof

This guide is designed to help you determine eligibility for coating your rooftop with us and outlines additional ways in which you can support and get involved with this program and other initiatives. At any point, we are also happy to provide additional technical support and resources to any New York City building interested in installing a cool roof.

Rooftop Criteria

Your building must meet all 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


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 can 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. 

Request a Cool Roof

Report Your Cool Roof

Have you installed a cool roof?  Tell us about it  so that we can count it towards our annual goal.

Become a Corporate Sponsor

Businesses and employees have the opportunity to sponsor a corporate volunteer day to install a cool roof while also having a unique team building experience. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we are not currently offering any corporate volunteering opportunities.

Ask Us About Sponsorship Opportunities

Volunteer with NYC CoolRoofs

SBS is not currently offering any volunteering opportunities. Please complete  this form if you would like us to reach out to you once we begin offering volunteering opportunities in the future.

Train with NYC CoolRoofs

NYC CoolRoofs provides job-seeking New Yorkers with the opportunity to earn paid work experience and credentials in the construction sector.

Learn More and Apply