uPVC stands for unplasticised Poly Vinyl Chloride. This is a compound of chlorine, carbon and Hydrogen. The Hydrogen and Carbon elements are obtained from petroleum while the chlorine part is obtained from common salt. Unplasticised means that plasticisers that make the compound soft have not been added.
A large percentage of uPVC is consumed in the building industry, 55%. Its mainly used to make doors, windows, ceilings, floor finishes, plumbing accessories and roofs.
uPVC is very rigid and hard to bend, compared to PVC which is easier to bend and mostly used to make plumbing and drainage pipes.
uPVC roofs can be in form of slates as shown below.
The slates are joined in a similar fashion as the natural slate stone roofs.
The advantages are that they cost less, are lightweight and are aesthetically appealing.
Windows and doors.
These costs around kes 8000 per m2, same cost as basic steel casement windows in Kenya.
They can open as hung or sliding.
These have been around in Kenya for many years, with Dunlop floor tiles coming in as the most visible brand.
These cost around kes 400 per m2, which till today, is one of the lowest cost methods of floor finishes in Kenya.
These can be arranged in various patterns and colours to bring out beauty and style.
PVC ceilings are around 4 years old into the Kenyan market. They are low cost and very aesthetically appealing compared to other types of ceilings. They are also water proof, hence not damaged or discoloured by roof leaks, like it happens on the other soft board types of ceilings.
These costs around kes 400 per m2, way below soft board ceilings costs in Kenya.
Francis Gichuhi Kamau, Architect.