Polymer roofing systems drew attention during the International Builders' Show, held Jan. 11-14 in Orlando.
Novik, an injection molder based in St-Augustin-de-Desmaures, Quebec, introduced its NoviSlate Roofing System, molded from polypropylene on a 1,500-ton press at the company's headquarters.
Because NoviSlate panels are larger than some roofing tiles, the company's product helps save time during installation, said Marie-Line Gaudreau, Novik's marketing manager.
``To make a roof of one square [100 square feet], you need to use 174 tiles'' of a comparable product, Gaudreau said. ``We need 15 panels to make 100 square feet, so in our case we save at least 60 percent on installation.''
In July, Novik moved into a 65,000-square-foot building to meet growing demand for its products, which include siding, gable vents, exterior shutters and roof vents. Gaudreau said the firm started in 1998. It had $650,000 in first-year sales. Now, it's up to $15 million in sales and geared for further growth.
GE Plastics Specialty Film & Sheet held a news conference Jan. 12 to unveil a translucent roofing product made from Lexan Thermoclear multiwall polycarbonate sheet, which lets in natural, museum-quality light, officials said.
The sheet is extruded in Austria and meets homeowner demand for floor plans with more natural-quality light and better energy efficiency and heating and cooling costs than glass roofing inserts. The PC sheet is filled with Nanogel translucent aerogel from Cabot Corp. The product is marketed by Centerpoint Translucent Systems LLC of Knoxville, Tenn.
According to market research firm Freedonia Group Inc. of Cleveland, roofing demand in the United States will reach 259 million squares by 2008, based on growth in new office, commercial and industrial roofing and residential re-roofing applications. Plastic and metal roofing will have the fastest growth, but asphalt will remain dominant, and the fastest regional gains will be in the South and the western United States, Freedonia said.