Accurate cost data for roof-mounted radiant barrier systems

2 replies [Last post]
Joined: 03/12/2014

Dear BEopt users and keepers,

The current default cost for a double-foil radiant barrier in BEopt is $0.67/sqft of roof area. Assumed life is 15 years. Given this cost, this measure is almost never selected.

However, we know something quite different in Florida where radiant barriers are potentially useful.

Foil backed TechShield OSB is available at $10.85 per sheet (4x8") at the Home Depot.

Standard unsurfaced 4x8' OSB is $7.85 from the same source.

There is no difference at all in installation costs for foil backed OSB vs. standard OSB for new construction. The incremental cost is then: $0.094/sqft. Of course builders will likely get something of a price break for the material, but assuming overhead and profit increases the retail costs by 50% in the end, a realistic incremental cost for this system is $0.14/sqft. Given its application to the OSB underside, there is no possibility for dust collection and longevity should be good. I think a 20 year life would be conservative.

I suggest that this be included in future releases and as a custom entry in the library of anyone doing an analysis where cooling costs dominate.

BEopt developer
Joined: 09/27/2011


Thanks for the information. I've added a ticket to review where our costs/lifetime data came from relative to your experience.

Scott Horowitz
Residential Buildings Group
National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Joined: 03/12/2014


After discussing with several with experience around here, I'd suggest a 30% profit and overhead is adequate and a 25 year life. That makes it $0.12/sqft. good for 25 years.

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