Asphalt invasion

Asphalt shingle roof systems are establishing a presence in China

Asphalt shingles are one of the most widely used steep-slope materials in the U.S. roofing market. But five years ago, you wouldn't have found asphalt shingles in China. Now, asphalt shingles have made prominent progress in the Chinese market in part because of advocation and promotion by companies such as Owens Corning, Toledo, Ohio; CertainTeed Corp., Valley Forge, Pa.; and GAF Materials Corp., Wayne, N.J. Asphalt shingles have been accepted and applied extensively by local governments and developers of some regions, and continued growth is expected during the next several years.

Beyond the basics

Growth of new residential steep-slope construction—especially in Chinese cities—has been keeping pace with the Chinese economy's fast development. During recent years, the completed housing area has reached about 14 billion square feet per year in China. The average increase of property in cities is 15 percent each year. In 2005, the area of new residential construction in cities totaled about 4.8 billion square feet.

Generally no more than three stories high, residential buildings in rural areas basically are constructed with brick and wood or brick and concrete. Sixty percent of those buildings have steep-slope roofs. In medium- and small-sized cities, most residential buildings are five stories to seven stories high and brick-concrete structures, and in big cities, residential buildings mostly are more than 10 stories high and brick-concrete structures, generally with concrete roofs.