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Autoclaved Aerated Concrete
Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (AAC) May Be in Your Future
By Byron Belzak
Most people in the USA have never heard of Autoclaved Aerated Concrete, commonly known as AAC, as a building material. Yet it’s been around a long time. It was invented in Sweden in 1923 when their forests were substantially depleted.
Today, AAC is one of the major residential construction products used in Europe. More Americans are beginning to see why. Two manufacturing plants, one in Florida and another in north Georgia, impress consumers daily with their lightweight concrete block products and competitive pricing.
What is AAC?
Autoclaved Aerated Concrete is pre-cast concrete containing entrained air and cured in an autoclave oven, which makes the concrete block rise almost as if it were bread in a kitchen oven. It is a soft material that can be cut with a regular saw blade and easily drilled. Its blocks are solid and relatively lightweight. They are glued together with an adhesive and reinforced with rebar for additional strength. AAC has incredibly high “R” values for superior insulation.
One can run a screw into an AAC block at any point to hang something, such as a picture or lamp. AAC block is used mostly in above-grade construction, in both residential and commercial buildings. However, AAC block can be used in basements. Like other cement products, it requires waterproofing. AAC is intended for use in both interior and exterior walls, but it should be covered with something such as stucco to protect it. AAC is structural, thermally insulating, acoustically insulating, and fire resistant.
Some rumors linger about AAC’s advantages and disadvantages, but those who know this construction material fervently defend it. One such person is Derek Taylor, one of the owners of the SafeCrete manufacturing plant, located in Ringgold, Georgia. He himself lives in a home made completely of AAC blocks, trains people regularly in its construction practices, and has been involved with the industry for decades.
“AAC is the best”
“In my mind, AAC is the best available building product,” said Derek Taylor, SafeCrete COO. “When people come to our monthly training classes, they are always amazed at my enthusiasm for the product. I am not a salesman, but more of a builder. But I do get excited about AAC and take offense when I believe information is presented about it that is not correct.”
Taylor said it’s a bad rumor that AAC block holds moisture, such as in basements, and that mold can grow in it. He said nothing is further from the truth. He said mold cannot grow in it.
“The statement that the porosity of AAC materials keeps humidity inside the material, which in the long term supports the growth of mold inside the block is not correct,” said Taylor. “There has to be a food source for mold to grow. There is nothing in the AAC blocks for them to eat.”
Derek Taylor should know what he’s talking about. “I have been in the AAC industry since it came to the U.S. I have done everything from pouring the cakes in our manufacturing plant to laying the blocks in the field. I have a basement in my three-story plus AAC home that I built. So I feel qualified to answer questions about AAC.”
Free, One-Day AAC Training Workshop
In fact, the public is invited to take a one-day training course, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., in Ringgold, Georgia, located approximately one hour north of Atlanta off of I-75. The training is conducted at the SafeCrete manufacturing plant and the vicinity. It includes a plant tour and hands-on use of constructing with the block. The free training session offers a tour of several residential and commercial buildings that are constructed of AAC blocks, including Derek Taylor’s own home. Call SafeCrete for workshop details and to sign-up at 706-965-4587, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For AAC photographs and engineering data, visit the company’s informative website at www.safecrete.com. You won’t be disappointed if you’re looking for a quality construction material to make your corner of the world a little greener.
Once you talk with Derek Taylor, you too may become an avid supporter of the material. You may come to believe that AAC block will become one of America’s most popular building materials because of its ease of use and many attributes. Once you get the full lowdown about AAC, tell The Greener Home what you think. Email your comments to: email@example.com.
Copyright 2006 MediaBear