KUCHING: Umehiko (M) Sdn Bhd (Umehiko), a member of AHE Group (AHE) specialises in architectural, custom-made and cut-to-size natural stones for roofs, floors, landscapes and cladding.In its press release yesterday, it highlighted that its natural slate roof is gradually replacing the ceramic roof tiles and belian shingle, which used to be the standard for roof coverings.
Quality slate roofs can last for at least 120 years and are resistant to heat. This makes it the ideal product to withstand the high temperature of the summer months while keeping the indoors warm during the winter months. Good quality slates can also withstand harsh weather conditions such as monsoon rainstorms and snowstorms.
Furthermore, in Europe the old slate roof is commonly used to refurbish roofs, where some may be more than 100 years old. The durability and high quality of slate roofs have proven to be the best choice for roof covering, particularly for buildings by the seaside due to its low calcium content.
Aesthetically, the slate roof comes in a fade-resistant black and can be customised in large sizes. In addition, the material is resistant to acid rain and does not rust. In fact, its colour darkens with longer exposure to outdoor elements.
According to AHE’s chairman Andy Kho Kak Hee, not every slate that is black, grey or of any colour is suitable for roof covering.
“AHE’s supply of slate roof is highly demanded in the US and across Europe. AHE natural slate roof may be customised in size, shape and profile according to the creative designs to add value to any residential, commercial and public building,” he added.
In Singapore, the slate roof is fast attracting attention and increasingly being specified by architects as a more sophisticated and superior alternative to belian shingle.
Notably, recently opened Resorts World at Sentosa was the latest major industry name to use the slate roof at its hotels and casino. Besides, a lot more projects under specification stage will be built with AHE natural slate roof.
On a related note, in its pursuit for cutting-edge technology to develop this new material, China Natural Resources Investment company, a member of Umehiko and AHE has invested in two new roof slate production facilities in China as early as 2008.
Additionally, production at the two new AHE slate quarries has the capacity to meet the high demand of the global markets.
On top of the established European and American markets, Umehiko is also confident that its products will gain favour in newer markets including Australasia, Scandinavia and particularly Russia, which is growing to become one of its major export markets since gaining market entry in 2005.
Currently, Umehiko is aiming to achieve an annual export volume of 1,800 containers by 2013 from 800 containers currently.
With its own production facilities in Fujian and factories in different regions within China, Umehiko provides a production-to-delivery service of all types of architectural building and hardscape natural stones from all over the world at competitive prices.
Kho also emphasises that the AHE natural stone materials are the work of the best craftsmen and most advanced production methods, complemented by AHE’s own QAQC (quality assurance and quality control) in accordance to the stringent Japanese market standards.