As I was saying …

Roofing in India

I recently had the opportunity to participate in Roof India, an annual trade show held this year in Mumbai. The show, now 9 years old, is drawing increased attention as the Indian roofing industry begins to reach a new level of maturity.

India's economy, overall, is growing in excess of 9 percent per year, and the construction industry is outperforming the economy, largely because the country's population is urbanizing at an astonishing pace. We've all read the reports about India's steel and cement consumption; a one-week visit confirmed the staggering amount of new construction under way.

With a huge inventory of concrete buildings, Indian roofs mostly have consisted of low-cost liquid coatings with short life expectancies and uneven performance. For a number of reasons, the design and building owner communities are beginning the move to membrane roof systems, which are expected to grow dramatically from their current 7 percent market share.

The expectation of growth is attributable to rising expectations of quality but even more to a growing awareness of energy conservation in buildings. And on India's horizon is an energy crisis of potentially horrific proportions; given the amount of sunlight available in the country, solar is a natural opportunity.