How is the technology’ penetration ,fast or slow?
Roofing using shingles is fast penetrating the Kenyan construction and real estate industry due to its high aesthetic appeal and moderate cost.
The shingles cost around kes 1450 per m2 including overlap and the underlay, made from recycled plastic, costs around kes 500 per m2. In total , this costs close to kes 2,000 per m2 without including the cost of timber roof trusses.
Most Gazebos and outdoor eating areas for restaurants are using these shingles in Nairobi. Examples of this use are the Kenchic/Petrol station along Karen langata road opposite Nairobi Academy/Mamba village, Upper Hill springs restaurant, KPLC Retirment benefits housing estate along Bogani road in Karen, designed by Symbion International.
Shingles are made of asphalt, a byproduct of oil refinery. Once the Turkana oil starts being mined, shingles will become very low cost to produce from Kenya.
How much percentage does it save on construction costs compared to other roofing materials?
Since its lightweight, there will be savings on the timber roof support trusses since they can be spaced further apart hence using fewer roof truss members.
Due to the unique aesthetic appeal, these will enable developers charge higher rents or sale prices since buyers will feel the worth of the real estate they are purchasing.
Due to the fact that the material can be curved, it enables creation of interesting curved roof shapes that will earn value to the developers.
Any other company in Kenya dealing with the same roofing materials?
Currently, the most notable is Rexe roofing products company.
Do you see adaptation of the technology in coming years?
Once many other players come into the market, with many importers and the usual enterprising Kenyans who will opt to manufacture the products here, definitely the price will go down and he product will now be available even for low cost homes.
After mining Turkana oil starts, it will be very cost effective to produce asphalt shingles in Kenya.
Advantages of using roofing shingles over other materials?
The shingles give very unique and aesthetically appealing designs. This makes it profitable for developers since buyers easily see the worth of what they are purchasing.
Shingles also are very durable.
Shingles can be cost effective if produced locally.
Shingles are lightweight, hence reducing cost of timber trusses.
Francis Gichuhi Kamau, Architect.