Save money, be cool: Indonesian project shows how ‘cool’ roofs can help Asia beat the heat

Save money, be cool: Indonesian project shows how ‘cool’ roofs can help Asia beat the heat

The project will set aside 10 per cent of production for corporate social responsibility purposes, which would cover about 14,400 sq m annually, she shared. The product is free for public buildings like schools, orphanages and religious institutions, she said.

For commercial customers, the product, marketed under the BeCool brand, is still cheaper than other brands on the market, she added. “We just want the product (to be widely adopted) in Indonesia and … at an affordable price.”

A set of 20 kg of primer and 20 kg of coating costs 2.73 million rupiah (S$247), which can cover 120 to 160 sq m in area, depending on the absorbency of the roof material.

A low-cost housing unit in Indonesia — at an average of 36 sq m — with a clay roof would need 13 kg of primer and coating each, estimated Beta.

With the US$750,000 prize money to be disbursed in five tranches over three years, the plan is also to set up a national laboratory to study the properties of building materials, such as how much heat they reflect and absorb, she said.


Since the Money Mind video appeared on YouTube, more people have visited BeCool’s website and contacted the manufacturer, which is a company registered under UPI, she said.

Purchases in Indonesia are usually made via WhatsApp, and the company also receives requests to distribute the product overseas and is looking into it.

Although the BeCool coating has been well received, Beta has had some less positive feedback from journalists who said indoor temperatures have not dropped as much as desired.

She cautioned that cool roofs may not be a surefire way to significantly reduce indoor temperatures as other factors are also at play, such as the building’s design, orientation and quality of air circulation.