No more is a roof just a roof over one’s head. Over the last few years, innovations in roofing are contending with addressing the issues raised by traditional materials, be it installation time, labour effort, durability, sound and temperature insulation, design flexibility and many more aspects. Not to forget colour options and a variety of finishes that caters to aesthetic sensibilities too. From natural materials like slate and wood to manmade products such as asphalt, sheet metal, and plastic polymers — there are more types and styles of roofing to choose from today than ever before. While each has its advantages and shortcomings, they all can add a distinctive design element to one’s home.
Architects are now giving the style factor for the outer skin more importance, as they work to keep the interiors more comfortable with the inclusion of better insulation on the exterior, thereby cutting on energy bills for interior climate control and lighting.The exterior of the building is often designed to meet aesthetic requirements, paired with addressing maintenance concerns for the upkeep. The advanced product outcomes like tensile roofing, metal roofing, clay, concrete and ceramic tiles roofing, etc, rose to meet these aspirations of customers.
“The roofing and waterproofing industry has a bright future in India, given the policies of the new government to bolster infrastructure growth across rural and semi-urban India. The increase in disposable income and increasing innovation in the industry shall also usher in the way for more quality products,” says V Jayachandran, COO, roofing business, HIL Limited.
“The consumer is becoming more aware and conscious of the decision he is making today. Considering bigger entrepreneurs and companies also have some level of CSR on their side, they are going in for eco-friendly construction. Given the number of manufacturers of Galvalume roofing are increasing is enough to tell us that people are in a better acceptance mode and same goes for the increasing demand and favourable response from our customers as well,” says Gautam Suri, founder director & CTO, Interarch Building Products.
Ceilings or roofs offer the largest unobstructed view of a room and are the first thing people usually notice when they enter a building. As a result, the roof is an important element of house design and defines its aesthetics. Since a roof has a large surface area, it plays an important role in the acoustic and thermal comfort of a room.
In terms of raw materials, gypsum is a light-weight material which is formed as the result of evaporating sea water in massive prehistoric basins. It has excellent insulation properties both thermal and acoustic and can offer very good passive fire protection, moisture resistance, impact resistance and vapour control when used in combination with the right systems. “Gypsum is used as plasterboard to create false ceilings. Gypboard Plain plasterboard is a standard gypsum board consisting of an aerated gypsum core encased in, and firmly bonded to, strong paper liners. Gyproc Moisture Resistant consists of an aerated gypsum core with special water repellent additives encased in, and firmly bonded to, strong moisture-resistant paper liners,” says Hemant Khurana, VP, sales & marketing, Gyproc division, Saint-Gobain India.
Gypsum is 100% recyclable. The paperboard used in plasterboard is mostly sourced from paper mills that use waste recycled paper. Gypsum can either be sourced from natural reserves and is found abundantly in Rajasthan in India. Also, another variant is Phosphogypsum which is generated as a by-product of the phosphoric acid based fertiliser industry. Other raw materials required for different ceiling solutions are procured through Saint-Gobain’s strategic tie-ups.
Rising corporate and public awareness about climate change, carbon foot print, etc. has given new dimensions to initiatives like green building concepts. Specialised concepts like green roofs to minimise heat island effect are also available in the Indian market. There are quite a large number of applications that are engineered and addressed with metal roofing concepts with colour coated galvanised or zinc aluminium coated metal profiles. Very special applications which invite low radius bending and special geometric contour requirements are engineered with aluminium alloy based standing seam metal profiles. Aluminium exterior can be furnished in stucco embossed self colour or PVDF colour coated finish. Applications like flat roofing where metal profile have limitations from view point of weather tightness, non-metallic outer finishes like TPO, PVC or EPDM are offered as part of roofing assemblies.
In terms of green products, they have already carved a niche with environmental awareness high on the agenda in the construction industry all over. Corrosion resistance, heat reflection and better resilience with more emphasis on durability to sustain the most extreme conditions shall receive more emphasis. With a pressing accent on sustainability, building materials that also facilitate offing systems that can be recycled is expected to gain prominence.
Suri says that as on date the company is using the latest technology Galvalume and Zinc Alume which is available worldwide. He feels that this material will continue to grow in-to new products and applications.
HIL Limited has roofs on offer under the brand name Charminar, which has three core products for roofing: Flex-O-Boards, fibre cement sheets and colour coated metal sheets. Charminar Flex-O-Boards are flat fibre cement sheets are predominantly used in North East and farther North where there is extreme cold condition. The product has smoother surface finish with greater dimensional accuracy ensuring that the snow slides down. It provides excellent thermal insulation. It is also used as a sandwich panel for wall partitions, doors, decorative facades and is an excellent replacement for plywood. It’s versatile, paintable, design flexible and strong. Charminar corrugated fibre cement sheets are the alternatives for affordable, durable and sustainable roofing solutions. RCC roofs are expensive. The best alternative and progression from thatched roof is the fibre cement sheets. They are best-in-class as compared to any other type of alternative. They exhibit strong thermal insulation properties, the imported fibre used ensures strong and sturdier product, They are rust proof, and are recommended for chemical industries factory roofing and especially for poultry and food grain storage as they manage the differential temperature very well and help in increased productivity in poultry and long lasting food grains. Charminar colour coated metal sheets are durable and easy to install product which comes with lot of advantages like varied colours, length, thickness etc to cater to every consumer need. They are UV resistant, rust proof and aesthetic. They have been tested under the most extreme conditions and thus testify to strength and durability.
Suri says that Galvalume coated steel are available in both ribbed and flat panels to give a variety of finishes for attractive roofing and cladding of domestic, commercial and industrial applications. All the roof and wall coverings are supplied with custom accessories such as flashing, cappings, futters, trims, fasteners, etc. which are formed out of the same substrates and coatings as the roof and wall covering panels. All its roofing systems are water tight and don’t require any extra water proofing solution. The patented fluted side lap makes TRACDEK Hi-Rib completely watertight. The side lap is totally weatherproof. Any moisture drawn in by capillary action is trapped and dispersed by normal run-off. Long lengths and weatherproof side lap allow them to be used safely on roof pitches as low as 3 degree (approximately 1 in 20) in single-sheet lengths, 5 degree (approximately 1 in 11) with end laps, and for vertical cladding.
In terms of raw materials, HIL insists that they pass through state-of-the-art R&D and stringent quality tests and checks. The unique recipe and technological process prowess ensures that the final end product is of high quality and exceeds the IS specifications. HIL has also adopted a unique ‘Five way green’ philosophy, which ensured that the products and processes are environmentally friendly from end-to-end. Today, a good 30% of its energy needs are met from renewable sources. The company sources green raw materials with a low carbon footprint and processes them using green manufacturing that produces least effluents, byproducts and emissions. Even in terms of the end result, the products are green, recyclable and have minimal environmental impact.