Categories: Articles, News

by Ardiana Spahija


Categories: Articles, News

by Ardiana Spahija


Softhouse delivers a software platform for the Cool Roofing project – dark roofs are painted white to reduce the climate impact as ever larger areas of the earth’s glaciers melt, and reflective surfaces disappear. Cool Roofing is the latest project from the association Sätt färg på Göteborg, aiming to attract new arrivals and young people from vulnerable areas to the painting industry with creative projects.

Sätt färg på Göteborg is an association with many projects uniting art, climate issues, integration, and the painting industry. Above all, young people and new arrivals are the target group for participating in the projects. At the same time, they contribute to making the city of Gothenburg both more beautiful and more climate-smart.

Cool Roofing is a project based on American research and has impacted the USA, Canada, China, and France, among others. Low-sloping roofs are painted white with highly reflective special paint that mimics snow to counteract global warming. Dark roofs on buildings with cooling requirements, freezers, computer halls, etc., which require higher energy-consuming cooling, can be repainted to shrink the electricity bill.

The first step is to build an open source-database of suitable roofs. About a hundred environmental ambassadors get selected from newly arrived refugees from Ukraine and young people between the ages of 15 and 24 to identify at least 5,000 roofs suitable for Cool Roofing in Google Earth.

This is a relatively new technology in Europe, and therefore the development potential is exciting, says Louise Nilsson at Sätt färg på Göteborg. We continuously communicate with the development team and discover what we can improve along the way.

Softhouse has delivered a scalable, cloud-based software platform managing the roofs identified through Google Earth as having the potential to be painted. The platform is open for anyone who wants to enter and view registered roofs. The application consists of the following:

  • backend server developed in python
  • a database built in MySQL
  • frontend application written in ReactJS

The work was previously handled manually in excel, making it difficult to administrate more significant amounts of roofs. The idea is to identify far more roofs internationally and then build in AI and Machine Learning to transform search data in collaboration with the Chalmers University of Technology. 

We have cooling units on a black roof just outside, says Erling Zandfeld at Sätt färg på Göteborg. Such a house could have had less cooling needs in the building itself and, at the same time, make a positive contribution to the climate.

Sätt Färg på Göteborg and the Cool Roofing-project aim to build the database with the help of about 40 Ukrainian refugees, and in the summer ahead, a pilot with painting roofs will take place. The database lays the foundation for future work. But there are also other benefits of Cool Roofing in light of the booming solar industry.

There is a relevant connection to installing solar cells that needs to be as cold as possible. The efficiency is 25% higher on a white roof compared to a black roof, says Erling, who is also responsible for the painting expertise at Sätt färg på Göteborg.

The project is also rewarding for those who do the actual digitization work and get to combine different perspectives of societal benefit in the same project.

This project is very different and unique, says Melanie Andersson, technical project manager at Softhouse. It has been fulfilling to produce something good for the climate and society. And at the same time, work in a team where you feel the team spirit and lift each other.

The project combines three integration and labor market projects: Cool Green Deal, Environment & Work, and Care EUkraine. Funding comes from Vinnova, the European Social Fund, and the Swedish Inheritance Fund.


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