12 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD USE AAC
1. Cost Effective
Serious operating cost savings can be realized through, reductions in maintenance, significantly lowered energy bills for heating and air conditioning, and significantly lowered insurance premiums. All of these incredible advantages are experienced year after year by an owner of a commercial or residential building constructed out of Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (AAC).
2. Long lasting
Durability and its positive environmental impact, are important factors when considering use of a building material.
An AAC structure does not need major repairs or renovation every twenty years or so. This saves money, inconvenience, energy and other resources. These are of tremendous advantage to the building owner, creating a better investment and value up-front and over the long-term. AAC has proven to be this very durable material. There are numerous structures in many different climates worldwide, many over sixty years old, in excellent condition. AAC will not rot, warp, rust, corrode, or otherwise decompose. AAC provides an owner with a very low maintenance building, saving considerable time and money in upkeep over the life of the building.
Although damage to an AAC wall is unlikely, repair is simple using an AAC repair mortar. The durability of finishes, both exterior and interior, plays an important role environmentally.
3. Fire Resistance
AAC is non-combustible. A 4-inch thick non-load-bearing, or a 6-inch thick load-bearing AAC wall, provides a U.L. classified 4-hour fire rating. This far exceeds the requirements of the Standard Building Code, and provides a significant level of protection against loss of life and property. Toxic fumes generated from the burning of traditional materials pose a recognized danger. AAC is an inorganic material that does not burn. The melting point of AAC is over 2900 ºF, more than twice the typical temperature in a building fire of 1200 ºF. The use of AAC eliminates the need for applying costly fireproofing materials.
4. Acoustically Absorbent Insulation
A commonly overlooked environmental problem in construction is noise pollution. The solid wall construction of a building made of AAC provides exceptional acoustic insulation. Its porous structure and high surface mass, coupled with its ability to dampen mechanical vibration energy, greatly reduces outside environmental noise pollution and the indoor echo effect (i.e. reflecting sound) in empty rooms, providing a quieter, more comfortable interior for the occupants. AAC sound wall systems can achieve STC ratings up to 60.
5. Energy Efficient… High Thermal Insulation
AAC has exceptional thermal insulating qualities. An AAC wall provides solid insulation, without the thermal bridging (cold spots) associated with through-wall framing members or fasteners.
Buildings constructed with AAC tend to be cooler in summer and warmer in winter. As a result, the use of a building's air conditioning or heating is reduced. The use of additional thermal insulation is unnecessary. Customers often report significantly lower utility bills (a 30-50 percent savings in energy costs). Customers who have the ability to monitor their heating and air conditioning usage, report annual savings of 60 and 70 percent.
In addition to greatly moderating the interior temperature, this lag time allows energy consumption to be shifted to off-peak hours, a benefit to power companies. In many temperate environments, an 8-inch-thick AAC wall provides more than the required thermal protection without additional insulation. Better temperature and humidity control provides greater comfort for building occupants.
A test was done on a 10" AAC wall. The outside of the wall was painted black to maximize heat absorption from the sun. A thermometer was placed on the exterior and interior surfaces of the wall to measure its temperature changes over a twenty-four hour period. The exterior surface fluctuated over 126 degrees Fahrenheit while the interior surface fluctuated only 2 degrees Fahrenheit.
6. Highly Mold and Weather Resistant
Concerns of mold growing in our homes and commercial buildings are at an all time high. Fears of illnesses related to mold growth have even prompted some people to vacate their homes. Fungi contaminated residences and office buildings have become legal and insurance nightmares. In fact, one insurance company's claims rose from 12 claims in 1999, to 15,000 claims in 2001.
Mold spores are everywhere but require certain conditions to multiply - a warm temperature, sustained moisture, and organic nutrients. The typical nutrient source for mold is moisture-damaged building materials. AAC is a breathable, concrete product made with clean, inorganic materials and does not offer the nutrients needed for mold growth.
Tests conducted, by an independent laboratory, on AAC block against the three fungi most commonly involved in indoor air quality studies, showed AAC to be fungal resistant and repressive in allowing mold to multiply.
Certainly there are many remedies and preventative measures that can be taken to avert the growth of mold in a structure. One of these is the use of AAC building blocks in the construction of both interior and exterior walls.
No structure is mold-proof, but choosing appropriate building materials with proper ventilation and good maintenance practices can greatly ease the threat of mold problems in your structure.
7. Versatile Design Flexibility
The surface of AAC blocks can be incised to create reveals, signage, and graphics. Corners of walls can be rasped to create rounded edges or entases, and arches can be cut with saws. AAC can also be cut to create radius walls. Adhesive mortar can be used to laminate thin slabs or strips of AAC or manufactured stone (cultured stone) to an otherwise flat wall to build up quoins, cornices, and other ornamentation. Bas-relief treatments can also be carved into the surface of an AAC wall.
8. Seismic Design
AAC has performed well for many years in seismically active and hurricane-prone regions around the world. AAC buildings have shown good resistance to earthquake forces. The non-combustible and fire resistant characteristics provide further advantage against fires commonly associated with earthquakes.
9. Pest Resistance
AAC is an inorganic, insect resistant, solid wall construction material. It is impossible for insects and rodents to inhabit in them. Without the concern of termites and other insects damaging or inhabiting the AAC portion of the structure, chemical treatments can be reduced while maintaining the maximum protection against damage to the building.
10. Improved Indoor Air Quality
Some of the poorest quality air we breathe is in our homes and in the buildings in which we work. It is estimated that 80 to 90 percent of an average person's time is spent indoors. AAC is an inorganic material that contains no toxic substances and does not decompose or off-gas. Since AAC is both a structural and insulation material, it allows the elimination of other materials that may contribute to poor indoor air quality. AAC is an ideal material for homes for the chemically sensitive.
11. Simplified Construction
AAC simplifies construction by minimizing the number of different building products involved. Operating cost savings for the building owner prove to be substantial, with life cycle break-even within a relatively short period. The AAC building owner may see a significant reduction of maintenance and energy (heating and cooling) costs as well as an increase in overall comfort and safety.
AAC blocks are quickly and accurately cut with a band saw or hand saw to the desired dimension including accurate angles and other shapes. AAC can also be drilled, nailed, grooved, routed, shaped, sculpted, carved, coated, floated, screwed into and milled with common tools and finished with paint, tile, plaster, or veneer. Window trim, chases for plumbing, wiring and outlets, and decorative features like keystones, window sills and columns can easily be created on the job site.