To build with AAC, is to build the future now.
Aerated Autoclaved Concrete (AAC) is a light weight building stone whose crystalline matrix combines the properties of insulation and thermal mass in one structural material. For decades, the unique attributes of AAC have been utilized in architecture around the world, especially in harsh conditions of cold and heat, damp and dry climates, as well as earthquake and hurricane regions. One of its greatest abilities is to act as a thermal damper, to regulate daily high and low temperature extremes, and thereby reduce overall energy requirements in buildings. AAC is a multi-generational building material that will consistently out-perform other materials over the ‘testing’ of time. As we construct our future, AAC can help lead the way by example, by providing long term energy savings, fire and termite resistance, low maintenance, sound quieting characteristics and is simple to design for and erect. The architectural materials we chose today will, by nature, make the difference we can count on, for tomorrow.
History and Process
AAC was developed over 75years ago in Sweden and is now being produced in more than 420 factories around the world. It is made from fine ground silica sand, Portland cement, lime, water and aluminum powder as an expansion agent. The production process is very carefully monitored to insure a controlled consistency in the proportions and timing of all ingredients that are used in each batch. The materials are first mixed into slurry and then poured into large molds where the expansion agent reacts with the alkalis in the cement and lime to produce millions of small hydrogen gas bubbles. The mix expands and raises almost 2 times its initial volume. The hydrogen evaporates and the 'cake' sets up and hardens into a stable closed cell matrix which can then be precision wire-cut into blocks or panels. The green aerated concrete is then steam cured in a pressurized autoclave for about 12-14 hours where upon it undergoes a second chemical reaction and transforms into the mineral Tobermorite or calcium silicate. The finished materials are palletized and delivered by truck directly to the job site.
· AAC is lightweight, about a fifth the weight of concrete. (It will float on water)
· AAC can be engineered for earthquake and tornado regions and in hurricane prone areas where it can withstand severe wind loads from storms.
· AAC works a lot like wood. It can be cut, drilled, shaped and sanded with hand or power tools. Electric chases are easily sawn or routed in. A variety of fasteners are available to meet pull and shear requirements.
· AAC is non-combustible with a UL fire rating of 4 hours for a 4 inch non-load bearing wall. Also, when exposed to fire, AAC gives off no toxic gases. Given the current concern over wild fires in the South West, AAC can be an important choice for the building shell of a home.
· AAC has unique thermal properties because of its cellular structure. It combines high heat loss resistance for a masonry material with excellent thermal inertia resulting in an overall 'mass enhanced R-value'. AAC is renowned for its energy efficiency and gentle thermal motion in hot or cold climates, especially in areas that experience large day-night temperature swings.
· AAC has exceptional sound absorbing characteristics. Because the material has a porous structure containing 60-70% air, it performs as an acoustic insulator to reduce sound transmission.
· AAC is impervious to termites and boring insects and will not rot or decay.
· AAC provides a vapor permeable, breathable wall system
· The manufacturing of AAC materials is a pollution free process that makes best use of a minimum amount of energy and natural resources, resulting in a premier green building material.