Practical Action.org: Micro-concrete Roofing Tile Production
“Much attention has been paid to developing the small-scale production of concrete roofing tiles as an affordable alternative to both traditional roofing materials, such as thatch, and modern, mass-produced, often inappropriate, galvanized iron sheeting or asbestos cement. These tiles are relatively low in cost, durable (with a life span expected to exceed 20 years in most areas), aesthetically acceptable, able to offer adequate security and comfort, and provide protection from both the heavy rain and the hot sun.
Concrete roofing tiles are now produced by small businesses in a number of countries in Africa, South and Central America, Asia and Southeast Asia, and in the former Soviet Union. The key to the success of this technology was the development of equipment and techniques to produce the tiles on a small scale. It typically costs US$5,000 (excluding land and buildings) to set up a concrete roofing tile workshop, and can be less than US$1,000 in areas where the vibration equipment and the moulds are made locally.”
Microconcrete roofing tiles are now big business in some parts of the world. Our building supply centers have an area about half the size of a football field with many colors and styles of roofing tiles to choose from. The quality of big name brands is far above what can be made on machines like in the video. Quite impressive, actually, and I love the tile look. I like MCR tiles because they’re more durable and look better than most metal roofing, and don’t get as noisy in rainstorms. MCR tiles are fast and easy to install. However, metal roofing is my favorite for speed and ease of installation. Both work well for roofwater harvesting.