Building roofs are sources of unwanted heat for buildings situated in zones with a warm climate. Thus, reflective coatings have emerged as an alternative to reject a fraction of the solar energy received by roofs. In this research, the thermal behavior of concrete slab roofs with traditional and solar reflective coatings was simulated using a computational tool. The studied slab configurations belong to two groups, non-insulated and insulated roofs. In the second group, the thermal insulation thickness complies with the value recommended by a national building energy standard. Weather data from four cities in Mexico with a warm climate were used as boundary conditions for the exterior surface of the roofs. The computational tool consisted of a numerical model based on the finite volume method, which was validated with experimental data. A series of comparative simulations was developed, taking a gray roof as the control case. The results demonstrated that white roofs without insulation had an exterior surface temperature between 11 and 16 °C lower than the gray roof without insulation. Thus, the daily heat gain of these white roofs was reduced by a factor ranging between 41 and 54%. On the other hand, white roofs with insulation reduced the exterior surface temperature between 17 and 21 °C compared to the gray roof with insulation. This temperature reduction caused insulated white roofs to have a daily heat gain between 37 and 56% smaller than the control case. Another contribution of this research is the assessment of two retrofitting techniques when they are applied at once. In other words, a comparison between a non-insulated gray roof and an insulated white roof revealed that the latter roof had a daily heat gain up to 6.4-times smaller than the first.
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