A home being constructed from aircrete blocks

Whether constructing a new project or remodeling, you want durable building material that does not cost a fortune. For many homeowners, choosing materials that improve energy efficiency and are eco-friendly is also essential. If you have any of these specifications, it’s worth checking out Aircrete, a lightweight concrete alternative with compression strength.

What is Aircrete?

Also known as Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (AAC), Aircrete is a durable precast building material that can endure varying climatic conditions. ACC blocks protect from fire and mold and provide thermal insulation from heat and dampness. They are building components used in all kinds of building designs around the world. In particular, ACC blocks are widely used in many homes in Scandinavian countries. 

Mixing Aircrete ignores the conservative method of aggregate blending that is used in the formulation of concrete. Instead, Aircrete uses foaming agents like a dish detergent to create air bubbles in the mix.

Aircrete being mixed using a foam-injecting pump
A foam injector is used to mix Aircrete. Courtesy of DomeGaia

What Makes Aircrete an Energy-Efficient and Eco-Friendly Building Material?

Aircrete is a blend of cement, water, and air bubbles (or foam). Because it is composed of all-organic materials, and uses less of them than traditional concrete, it is extremely environmentally friendly. Additionally, its lifespan can extend beyond its first-run use in a building. It is recyclable, as it can be broken down with other construction elements for repeated use in future projects.

ACC blocks are very air-tight and thus insulate well, allowing for superior heat consistency. This results in improved energy efficiency and lowers heating and cooling costs.

Let’s look more in-depth at the specifics of the various Aircrete efficiency and sustainability benefits.

Cinder blocks being used to test the durability of a piece of Aircrete.
Courtesy of Man About Tools

Energy Efficiency and Sustainability Advantages of Using Aircrete

As Aircrete needs lower maintenance over time than timber construction, it is often the best option. Aircrete has remarkable qualities of strength and durability. It does not release any damaging emissions nor rely on preservatives.

Since it is a green-cement, Aircrete has many advantages that add credibility to its sustainable reputation. The benefits include thermal mass, air-tightness, and thermal insulation. It also naturally sustains performance as it does not rust, rot, decay or burn, unlike timber. 

Excellent Thermal Insulation

Since Aircrete is composed of air pores, it is a good sound and thermal insulator. A thermal bridge, or heat bridge, is a building component that’s thermal connectivity is higher than other materials, resulting in better heat transfer. The critical aspect of thermal bridging is air-tightness and insulating ability. Aircrete ranks high in both.

ACC blocks provide adequate thermal mass performance with the absorption and distribution of heat in a building. As a result, Aircrete supports a steady interior warmth and cozy ambiance. In comparison, other construction methods provide inconsistent interior temperatures due to changing indoor and outdoor conditions.

Aircrete provides a level of thermal mass about six times greater than other lightweight construction techniques. Moreover, the thermal mass feature offered by Aircrete is also helpful to block overheating in summer, because it absorbs indoor temperature in the day and makes use of cooling night conditions for ventilation. Thus, it checks the heat absorption of the structure. This technique is known for being less expensive in constructions with thermal mass.

Cost-Effectiveness

Since Aircrete is usually a blend of water, foam, and cement, it is very affordable. Actual preparing costs about $1 to $2 per square foot and per inch of thickness, known to be DIY friendly and cost-effective for people who like innovation.

Some users vouch that you can create DIY homes for up to only $9,000. With that said, the thermal mass technique of construction is known for being less expensive. The SAP overheating check also makes compliance easy. Compared to timber, Aircrete is not just inexpensive; it also uses only a portion of the cement and is, therefore, much lighter and more environmental-sound.

Minimal Environmental Footprint

Since new alternatives are constantly upending traditional cement, Aircrete has become an even more viable green construction element.

Aircrete is comparatively more affordable than concrete and leaves a minimal ecological footprint. 

Concrete is the most widely used material on the planet, yet it is responsible for 4-8% of the global greenhouse CO2 emissions. Whereas, Aircrete is the green, eco-friendly cement alternative. 

Aircrete composition requires less cement, water, electricity, and heat in its composite. Thus, it is also easier on the earth and produces fewer off-gas emissions.

Additionally, even if a building’s life span ends, Aircrete’s reliability as a green cement continues in its recycling properties. Used Aircrete can be broken down with other construction elements and recycled for future purposes.

Additional Benefits of Aircrete

Aircrete blocks coming off the assembly line
Courtesy of Aircrete Europe

It’s Fire Resistant and Water Proof

Aircrete has many beneficial features. It is fire-resistant, water-resistant, and snow resistant. It consists of fire-resistant substances that include water, foam, and a cement mixture. Even when exposed to extreme heat, Aircrete will not catch fire.

The porous nature of the material makes it a fire deterrent. This fire-resistant quality surpasses even regular concrete. In case of a fire breakout, Aircrete prevents the damages in other areas, within walls or to adjoining buildings. Aircrete walls protect valuable assets because of their exceptional durability and fire protection, whereas a timber frame generally only provides 30 minutes of fire resistance.

Other concerns for homeowners are water damages or moisture proofing. If humidity increases, Aircrete will absorb the water. Aircrete offers higher insulation features because of the foam and air bubbles created during the blending. It is watertight and will not decompose or rot due to moisture. 

Pest Control

As we know, pests are a frequent dilemma in homes across the globe, no matter the climate conditions. Homeowners typically use regular fumigation to rid them. Yet, heavy chemical usage in pest control measures can harm us.

 Another advantage to Aircrete buildings is they do not permit pests in because the material doesn’t allow unwanted gaps. Aircrete builds tightly sealed enclosures and openings.

Easy and Fast Construction

The race to build durable homes with an easy and fast method has been the goal for ages and is why the lumber industry took off. As a result of economies of scale, many homes built from wood are sold inexpensively. 

Aircrete blocks are used in the construction of a commercial building
Aircrete blocks and ACC cladding (panels) are used in the construction of a commercial building. Courtesy of Aircrete Mexico.

But as we know, timber can rot and harbor termites, is easily combustible, and needs constant maintenance. On the other hand, Aircrete is easy to use, fast to build, and has many reliable traits. In addition, Aircrete is lightweight because of evenly dispersed air cells and a lower density. These properties boost the speed of construction.

Removes Dampness and Mold Hazard

Dampness and mold are repulsive and toxic building hazards and should be the last of homeowners’ concerns in the present, Covid-inflicted times. Hence if you do not handle your plans and construction efficiently, you can be left to suffer the consequences. 

Using Aircrete reduces the risk of damp and eliminates mold hazards. Aircrete blocks are known to protect from fire and mold while also offering excellent insulation. Plan by observing the likely cold spots in your new project to ensure you prevent unnecessary future risks. 

Global Credibility

Aircrete has the distinction of being tried and tested as a reliable and long-lasting building resource. As a result, it has been recognized as the material of choice in countless building developments for many decades.

It is in use around the planet, including European countries such as France, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Poland, and the United Kingdom.

Safe and Non-Toxic

Because it’s composed entirely of natural resources, Aircrete is non-toxic, making it safer than many other building material rnatives.

Pro Tip: use a natural foaming agent like a dish detergent or combine reactive substances to get the right concrete mix.

Key Concepts

Aircrete is a building product with remarkable qualities of strength and durability. Understanding the advantages of Aircrete gives you a measure of how adequately it performs its role of developing a solid construction.

The combined traits of thermal mass, cost-effectiveness, strength, and ecological responsibility, make Aircrete an energy-efficient and sustainable choice. We certainly hope this article has helped you make an informed decision.

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2 Comments

  1. Hello Erin,

    A very nice article. The last photo from a construction site you have used shows not only AAC blocks, but also AAC (cladding) panels. Maybe you can credit the owner of this photo, Aircrete Mexico by giving a hyperlink to their website (https://aircrete.mx/).

    Kind Regards,
    Derya Yorukoglu
    Marketing Manager
    Aircrete Europe

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