County of Los Angeles Passes Landmark Ordinance that Helps Protect Southland from Climate Impacts

The LA County Board of Supervisors today approved an amendment to County Building Code to add cool roof standards (County Code, Title 31).

This landmark ordinance will help the Los Angeles region stay cooler in hotter temperatures and save lives from the impact of extreme heat.

This ordinance will require cool roofing materials to be utilized on newly-constructed buildings, and during alterations and additions to existing buildings within unincorporated jurisdictions. There were no such standards on new construction or roofing retrofits prior to today’s LA County ordinance.

What is a cool roof? These roofs are comprised of materials that reflect the sun’s energy back into the atmosphere (known as the “Solar Reflectivity Index” or SRI). This effect reduces heat absorption and cools the building under the roof as well as the surrounding community.

The nonprofit organization, Climate Resolve, supported and helped to pass this policy, as they assisted the passage of a similar ordinance in 2014 for the City of Los Angeles.

“Today, Los Angeles County boldly adopted the most rigorous cool roofing ordinance in the United States,” said Jonathan Parfrey, executive director of Climate Resolve. “This simple technology will help the public stay cooler, both inside and outside the home. Cool roofs have the added benefit of lowering utility bills, as well as reducing air pollution, saving water and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”

The new cool roof ordinance can be found here:

Climate Resolve is a Los Angeles-based 501(c)(3) tax-deductible nonprofit organization, founded in 2010, that focuses on local solutions to global climate change, and works to achieve outcomes that bestow multiple benefits.

We work to make California more equitable, just, livable, prosperous, and sustainable today and for generations to come by inspiring people at home, at work, and in government to reduce climate pollution as well as prepare for climate impacts.


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