CEILING IN A CAN
CEILING IN A CAN (CiC) is a patented innovation that aims to create better living conditions for indigent people by providing an instant ceiling. This fresh technology originating from MUT involves two 5 liter cans containing different polymers. By spreading newspaper on the floor and mixing the two polymers (the base and the activator), a foam board if formed. The board can then be lifted and attached to the rafters creating a low-cost and easy to install ceilings. Furthermore, the newly formed ceiling has fire retardation qualities, has great insulating properties, is water proof, light weight (no supporting frame required) and half the cost of competitive products. Taken together the qualities of the CiC ceiling makes it ideal for developing countries, people living in low-cost housing and even more people living in shacks in informal settlements.
There are millions of middle-class people living in low-cost houses and even more indigent people living in shacks in informal settlements. Very few of these houses have been built with quality ceilings, meaning these communities are at the mercy of the elements. Furthermore, it has been shown that poor quality ceilings that do not provide proper insulation against the heat of summer and the cold of winter means occupants spend more on electricity and drive up peak electrical consumption as they use fans and heaters in an attempt to make their homes comfortable. Conventional gypsum ceilings are expensive, difficult to install and expensive to transport, unsurprisingly, therefore, precious few informal housing and shacks have gypsum ceilings. There are more than 5 million low-cost homes and shacks in South Africa and research has shown that less than 1% of these have a ceiling. As urbanization increases all over the world, more people are moving to the cities and generally they arrive and build a shack as a temporary accommodation. Due to enormous poverty and joblessness and the slow provision of government housing, these temporary homes can become occupied continuously for as many as 20 years. Despite the modest nature of their homes, many people who live in shacks are still house proud. The inhabitants will make an effort to make some money allocated to home improvements. Thus the CiC target market is the person who could be male or female who lives in a low-cost housing but can afford the low-cost alternative of CiC to replace their ceiling.
To ‘construct’ their ceiling, the homeowner will purchase the two part polymers (base and activator) in separate 5-liter cans. These can be transported at no extra charge as luggage on a minibus taxi or train. Once home, all the furniture in a room is removed, the floor is covered with a layer of newspaper. The CIC activator and base is thoroughly mixed and spread out evenly on the newspaper. It bubbles and expands to 15 times the thickness. After 20 minutes it dries as a solid sheet. The corners are then freed with a kitchen knife and starting at the doorway, the ceiling is lifted into position and secured to the rafters with variable length chipboard screws. The paper can be removed and the ceiling can be painted.
CEILING IN A CAN (CiC) is a patented innovation that aims to create better living conditions for shack dwellers by providing an insulating ceiling that is easy to transport and half the price of the competing products and conventional ceilings.
Conventional ceiling companies have not targeted the low-income or informal housing market. CiC is a low-cost product which is water proof, acts as a fire retardant, an excellent insulation material, light weight and easy to install. Thus CiC is offering a product that is unique for this market and is highly scalable. There are no other products like CiC that we are aware of, thus it represents a uniquely South African solution to a problem that is pervasive all over the African continent.
The reason behind developing CiC was to address the four fold problem observed in low cost and informal housing settings:
1) Poor living conditions exacerbated by poor insulation and none existent water proofing.
2) Higher electrical cost due to extensive measures taken in an attempt to control temperature.
3) A better quality ceiling would provide inhabitants with comfort and pride in their homes.
4) A lack of local jobs namely manufacturers and contractors which can implement low-cost solutions.
CEILING IN A CAN is in the process of moving the CiC product to market in one province of South Africa, simultaneously we intend to obtain more international protection in the form of a patent. As a result, we are seeking partners for investment and licensing.