Painting Sustainability Project

Neighborhood: Forest Park Southeast
Project Location: Forest Park Southeast
Project Sponsor: Mission: St. Louis
Sustainability Plan Category: Infrastructure, Facilities & Transportation

Painting RoofsWith aging housing stock, extreme summer heat, high smog levels, and a 36% poverty rate in the Forest Park Southeast neighborhood, the Mission St. Louis Painting Sustainability team started a cost-effective project in order to alleviate energy expenses as well as promote sustainability, energy efficiency, and homeownership.The Painting Sustainability project mobilized volunteers to apply elastomeric white paint to residents’ roofs, thereby increasing solar reflectance, decreasing energy usage and carbon dioxide emissions, reducing temperatures inside and outside homes, and lowering smog levels. Throughout the project, the Mission St. Louis Painting Sustainability team taught and trained more than 80 volunteers on how to put a solarflex coating on a roof, raised awareness and engaged the community by distributing informational fliers that provided more than 200 local homeowners with educational materials regarding the paint, energy efficiency, and the importance of sustainability, and, of course, provided eight homes with new solar flex coating roofs. On average, rooftop temperatures were lowered to within 4 degrees of ambient temperature. This change means a more comfortable living environment, economic savings, and a reduction in the carbon footprints of the 15 residents with new cool white roofs.

Timeline

July 2013-Distributed Painting Sustainability flyers and formed a list of interested residents

August 2013-Roof screening and evaluations

September 2013-Designed informational flyer, gathered materials and supplies, set a painting date

October 2013-Hosted Painting Sustainability workday, and painted 8 roofs

Related Resources: White Caps Green Collars, WUSTL Office of Sustainability