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Raise the roof and waterproof it

Roofing and waterproofing go hand in hand. There are several innovations happening in these segments

Roofing, Waterpoofing, Housing, Shabbir Kanchwala, Ashok Mohanani, Dr Sanjay bahadur, Dr Fixit, K Raheja Corp, Ekta World

There are several details to consider when designing a home, and in recent years the construction industry has seen incredible innovations in both technology and design. Homeowners have more design options to choose from than ever before. While most people tend to focus on interior spaces like kitchens and bathrooms, residential roofing has come a long way, offering a wide variety of exciting materials. What is more, the home buyer/owner has to also look at waterproofing so as to enjoy a peaceful stay under that roof.

Roofing
Roofs can be constructed from a wide variety of materials and in a wide variety of shapes depending on the requirements they have to satisfy, the local climate, the availability of materials and skills, the span to be covered, and so on. Your roof is a large part of the exterior appearance of your home, so it’s worth paying attention to its looks. Different types of roofing, different materials, and different colours can drastically affect the overall style of your house. Besides appearances, roofing also plays a significant role in the value of your home, its efficiency, and its durability.

A new report depicts the current status of roofing industry with a special focus on asbestos, tile and metal roofing segments. Currently, the roofing sector is preparing for the next generation products, with infrastructure and industrial boom being the major demand drivers. Airports, metro rails, Special Economic Zones, industrial cities and IT parks have initiated the need for enhanced construction technology. Urban consumers are gradually shifting from conventional roofing system to high quality, more technically advanced roofing systems based on their purchasing capacity. Affordable housing programmes also aids in demand generation for the roofing industry.

The emerging concept of PEB provides huge opportunity for the metal roofing players to capitalise on. Manufacturing industries such as power, automobile, engineering goods and services including logistics, warehouses and infrastructure are large users of PEB. Presently India’s per capita steel consumption is around 45-50kg which is way lower than the world average of 175kg signifying the expansion opportunity for the steel roofing industry owing to the increasing construction activities across the country. However, lack of skilled labour force required for roofing installation and maintenance adversely impacts the roofing market. Further, the presence of unorganised players offering roofing products at low prices poses major threat to the organised players in the industry.

Riten Choudhury.

Construction and building materials company Everest Industries has started offering turnkey solutions for pre-fabricated buildings. The company is also offering grid connected solar roofing systems that enable a commercial establishment to cut down their costs on energy. It prefers to set up the generation capacity and offer power or enable customers to set up the facility by arranging the necessary finance.

Similarly, Riten Choudhury, MD, Tata BlueScope Steel, says, “We are proud of our sophisticated equipment at our Jamshedpur plant. The imported machinery is highly advanced and that ensures quality across coating and paint thickness. At our other plants too, we have imported the machinery from global leaders such as Bradbury and Hayes. These machines perform accurate roll-forming and punching operations.”

In terms of coil parameters, Tata Bluescope Steel has a well-equipped laboratory of international standards with a technical team trained at BlueScope Steel Australia, which monitors the quality. The company procures high tensile steel with a strength of 650-700mpi from Tata Steel. This is further processed through top-end equipment supplied by internationally renowned manufacturers like Siemens VAI, Fives, Hatch, SAS, and Ajax. This ensures complete flatness, uniform metal, colour coating and baking. “We also have global tie-ups with world class paint suppliers like AkzoNobel and PPG for products which have been developed by them in collaboration with BlueScope Steel. This enables us to supply customers with painted products having high gloss finish with superior durability. Our own factories at Hinjewadi and Jamshedpur are constructed using 100% of our steel and are landmarks. The life of steel also depends on the metal coating thickness.  Unfortunately in India several manufacturers misguide customers by selling lower quality steel of 50-70gsm and offering it as 120gsm. We have also seen the retail markets being flooded with imported material of very poor quality. We hope that with the consolidation happening in the steel industry, one will see better quality products being offered to customers,” adds Choudhury.

Solar panels have existed in various forms for quite some time now. However, the green movement brought outstanding attention to panels as a roofing option. They were often seen as bulky and unattractive until manufacturers created sleek and elegant looking versions that sky-rocketed interest. Tesla, a leading company in the electric and solar development, launched solar tiles that look like conventional roofing tile. They save energy and cut utility bills.

Waterproofing
The building envelope refers to the external walls, windows, roof and floor. A building’s envelope, especially roofs and walls, contribute to as much as 28% and 45% of the energy loss in buildings. Good thermal insulation for the envelope is crucial to prevent heat from seeping in through the exterior of the building. Most buildings unfortunately don’t offer adequate thermal insulation for the building envelope thereby unnecessarily enhancing its energy usage, carbon footprint and lifecycle costs.

Ashok Mohanani, chairman, EKTA World, and VP, NAREDCO Maharashtra, says, “Growing application of bitumen as roll roofing component in residential and commercial building structures on account of its unique properties including high viscosity and stickiness is expected to have a positive impact on the market. In terms of product type, bituminous roofing has emerged as the most preferred roofing material due to its waterproofing ability and pocket-friendly pricing in countries like India, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Indonesia. The segment accounted for over 45% of the global roofing market in recent times. These roofing materials find wide-ranging usage in schools, offices, retail stores, and hospitals.”

Ashok Mohanani.

The rising recognition of thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) on account of being heat reflective and an energy efficient roofing system is likely to have an optimistic force on the market growth over the next few years. In terms of the trends in the waterproofing industry at present organised players are bringing in huge investments to set up training facilities for marketing personnel and applicators. Several players in the industry are tying up with foreign players to bring in advanced technologies thus enhancing quality and improvement in the lifespan of structures, adds Mohanani.

One of the major problems faced by the builders during the foundation layout is water. Apart from burning down, perhaps the worst thing that can happen to a residential structure or a building is a basement problem. Wet soil below the foundation can swell or lose strength. The waterproofing industry is so different that sometimes it gets difficult to identify general technological trends. Waterproofing solutions are mainly used in commercial and institutional tenders, to prevent any kind of leakage in the building structure.

Shabbir Kanchwala.

Shabbir Kanchwala, senior VP, K Raheja Corp, says, “Leakage in structure, especially roofs and walls, have been a cause of concern due to water leakage from different parts of the building. The most popular form of waterproofing are PVC roofing systems and TPO roofing. PVC roofing systems have witnessed tremendous growth in recent years, due to a variety of standout features, notably the longevity, resilience in harsh weather and temperature extremes, low lifecycle costs, energy efficiency, heat and solar reflectance, flame resistance, chemical and grease resistance, ease of maintenance, ease and flexibility of installation, and inherent recyclability/re-use, among many other benefits. TPO roofing casings are also used, as they are highly resistant to tears, impacts and punctures, with good elasticity to allow for building movement. The usage of waterproofing solutions offer several benefits, such as superior fire and wind resistance, very high tensile strength, and waterproofing features.”

Dr Fixit, the construction and the waterproofing expert, has announced the launch of building envelope solutions for roof and walls for better thermal insulation of the building. With this launch the brand aims to strengthen its low energy consumption system and spearhead the propagation of modern system solutions against conventional approach. Dr Sanjay Bahadur, Global CEO, construction chemical division, Pidilite Industries, says, “With energy being in short supply across large parts of India, it is essential to create comprehensive solutions that are energy efficient and best suited for creating sustainable structures. With this launch Dr Fixit aim to provide customers with energy efficient products and remain certain that it will offer unmatched performance and sustainable structures.”

Dr Sanjay Bahadur.

Waterproofing rehabilitation initiatives help increase the shelf life of concrete which initially have good returns on investment. Swadesh Anand, director, EPC, Paradigm Realty, says, “Several factors lead to the selection of waterproofing be it foundation construction, environmental conditions, geotechnical factors to be under potential for hydrostatic pressure. Various other additional trends in waterproofing are ‘geotechnical selection factors, hybrid waterproofing materials’. Hydrophilic water stops are the newest trend which relies on the concrete construction joints which are a back-up to the waterproofing membrane installed on the exterior surface.”

Developers have become very diligent and are trying new ways to ensure that there is no seepage or leaks in the building. Using synthetic sand instead of river sand helps in providing a waterproof construction along with aluminum formwork construction to eliminate joint seepage.

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