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Stylized Text: Long-term Exposure Testing Field Site.

Picture of the FSEC Flexible Roof Facility.The Flexible Roof Facility (FRF) is an FSEC Buildings Research division test facility in Cocoa, Florida designed to compare the performance of different residential roofing systems. The facility can evaluate five roofing systems at a time against a control roof with a vented attic and dark shingles.

The intent of the testing is to evaluate how roofing systems impact summer residential cooling energy use and peak demand. To make these evaluations, each of the 6 separate attic “cells” (see illustration) is heavily instrumented with sensors measuring temperatures of the shingles, roof deck, attic space and ceiling plane. Data are collected throughout the summer each year and then analyzed. Click here to view example results from the 2003 testing.


A number of temperature measurements using type-T thermocouples are made. Air temperature measurements are shielded from the influence of radiation. The temperature measurements included:

  • Exterior surface of the roof and underlayment
  • Decking underside
  • Attic air at several heights within the attic
  • Soffit inlet air and ridge vent exit air
  • Insulation top surface
  • Conditioned interior ceiling

Meteorological data recorded include:

  • Solar insolation
  • Aspirated ambient air temperature
  • Ambient relative humidity
  • Wind speed at a 33 ft (10 m) height
  • Rainfall (tipping bucket)

The test includes these standard measurements and analysis similar to what is shown in the 2003 report. Additional measurements or analysis are possible, but will likely make the testing a custom research project and require a research contract instead of the standard use/testing arrangement.

Reserving a Test Cell

While FSEC uses several cells each year for ongoing research, there are typically two or more cells available for use by outside companies or organizations desiring to have a roof system or product tested. For more information on reserving an FRF test cell, click here to contact Danny Parker.


Our standard research contract for one cell of the Flexible Roof Facility is available upon request. The cost includes use of the cell, standard instrumentation and our standard report which will (at a minimum) compare the cell to a reference vented attic with a dark shingle roof and a reference vented attic with a white metal roof (see the 2003 FRF report at as an example). Tear off of the existing roof and installation of the new roof is not included in this price. Tear off and installation are the responsibility of the individual, organization or company reserving the test cell(s), and all roof work must be done by a licensed and insured contractor.