Building materials segment today is flooded with options and several products, brands and features to choose from. The Architects, Builders and end-users evaluate the options on various parameters including pricing, aesthetics, eco-friendliness, and availability etc. Most certainly, these factors are important and need to be given their due weightage. However there are a few more very significant factors which are not being given its due consideration while choosing a Building material and they are unbreakable, light-weight, easy and fast installation, lifetime durability, zero-maintenance and lifetime warranty products.

All the stakeholders in any construction would wish the building to last for a lifetime. Of late, a lot of thought is going into the interiors, thanks to the spurt in Interior Designers in the market. However, the exteriors of the building is shielded with materials which are bulky, brittle, needs skilled labor, breakable, needs maintenance/replacement often and with no warranty. It is a common feature these days, that considerable breakage happen during site-storage and installation, delay in works due to complicated nature of installation and non-availability of skilled labor. Further on, in subsequent months and years, regular breakages or re-painting/cleaning-activities are very difficult to execute due to want of scaffolding, skilled personnel, etc. There are cases where the client needs to paint the exteriors as a standard practice every few years but scaffolding would need to rest on public-pavements or on adjoining neighbors which would not be feasible. Some common examples of these problems occur in clay or concrete tiles on roofs, granite or marble cladding, external wall painting etc.

Roofing Shingles

Considering the above scenarios, in North America and several other countries, the trend in selection of exterior products is towards lightweight and unbreakable materials which last for a lifetime. They also need to carry long-term warranty and should need virtually no-maintenance. Also, such products would be easy to install and even unskilled, inexperienced person would be able to fix it. Roofing Shingles for the sloped roofs and Vinyl Sidings for external wall cladding are two such examples. Roofing shingles are flexible, unbreakable material which is aesthetic and waterproof; whereas Vinyl Sidings come with lifetime fade warranty and does not rust, rot, peel or flake. Both these materials are most widely in building exteriors, with market share of more than 75% in their residential segment

CertainTeed, a Saint-Gobain company in the USA, is the leading manufacturer of Roofing Shingles and Vinyl Sidings. Since the past few years, these products are marketed in India and finding amazing success. All leading sloped roof projects including townships, villa-projects, resorts, mansions are using CertainTeed roofing shingles. Notable references include Lavasa Hill City & Aamby Valley at Pune, Villa projects of reputed developers like Sobha, Prestige, Niyati, Oxford and several resorts in Dehradun, Himachal, North-East, Coorg, Munnar etc. Vinyl Sidings too is picking up in India and Indian architects are beginning to prefer it as an alternate to granite, ACP and wood composites in the cladding segment. References include Ramada hotel in Bangalore, Madras Cement building at Vijayawada, resorts in Auli, Mahabaleshwar, Pune etc. Several institutional buildings including the New Legislative Assembly building at Assam, Doon University, CPWD buildings in various states, International Schools are using these innovative and sustainable products of Saint-Gobain

With several reputed Architects and Builders of India now increasingly preferring these lightweight, zero-maintenance, lifetime warranty products; Roofing Shingles and Vinyl Sidings of Saint-Gobain is establishing itself as the ideal choice for building exteriors.

MGS Architecture May 2014

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