Wolf Street Block Wins 'Cool Roof'; Philadelphia Aims to Be Greenest City

Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter announced that the 1200 Block of Wolf Street has won the RetroFIT PHILLY "Coolest Block" contest. Nutter's announcement followed the signing of legislation aimed at helping Philadelphia become "the Greenest City in America." The new law requires installation of energy-efficient reflective roofs or green roofs on all new no- and low-slope roofs throughout the city.

"I would like to congratulate the 1200 Block of Wolf Street and thank all the neighbors who came together to participate in the 'Coolest Block' contest," said Mayor Nutter. "Many of the row homes that give our city its unique character were built long before today's energy-conscious environment. This contest and the legislation I signed into law today will help Philadelphia become a city of the future and set an example for others throughout the country."

"We feel this effort can be a blueprint for bringing communities together in the interest of saving energy and improving quality of life," says Liz Robinson, executive director, The Energy Coordinating Agency of Philadelphia (ECA). "This contest is just one of many ways we hope to educate all Philadelphia residents about how to reduce their heating and cooling bills, make their homes more comfortable and preserve the historic blocks that make our city unique."

Organized by ECA, the city of Philadelphia and The Dow Chemical Company, the contest allowed residents of Philadelphia row homes to compete to win an energy efficiency upgrade for their entire block, including an energy-saving "cool roof," air sealing and insulation. The Dow Chemical Company contributed products and technologies, and The Dow Chemical Company Foundation provided financial support.

All homes on the North and South side of the 1200 block of Wolf Street will receive:

  • An energy audit – from basement to rooftop – assessing all the opportunities to save energy, save money and solve energy-related health and safety problems in the home;
  • Application of a white, reflective "cool roof" coating;
  • Installation of sealants and insulation products in the participating contestants' residential homes, in both the basement and the attic to help increase comfort and energy savings; and
  • A block party on June 19 to celebrate.

Entries were reviewed by a panel of judges including representatives from local media, environmental organizations, and the building industry. The 1200 block of Wolf Street stood out among the entries because of its high resident participation, condition and type of roofs currently installed, and essay submission.