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International Conference on Advances in Civil and Mechanical Engineering Systems, 19-20 Dec.

Government College of Engineering, Amravati in association with SVNIT, Surat, India

Cost Effectiveness of using AAC Blocks for Building Construction

Shweta O. Rathi1, P.V. Khandve2
Department of Civil Engineering, Prof Ram Meghe College of Engineering and Management, Badnera, Amravati,
M.S., India
Department of Civil Engineering, Prof Ram Meghe College of Engineering and Management, Badnera, Amravati,
M.S., India

ABSTRACT: Burnt clay brick is a predominant construction material used in construction. The CO2 emissions in
the brick manufacturing process had been acknowledged as a significant factor to global warming. Therefore, now-
a-days we should focus more on seeking environmental solutions for greener environment. To fulfill this objective,
new construction materials can be used for construction. One such material i.e., AAC blocks can be used as an
alternative material for construction. This paper highlights the comparative statistical analysis of cost effectiveness
of using AAC blocks instead of traditional red bricks. The usage of AAC blocks gives a prospective solution to
construction industry along with environmental preservation. In this paper, an attempt has been made to compare
AAC blocks as a replacement material to red bricks. The different types of tests were performed to determine
various properties of AAC blocks as compared to others. The 6 and 9 thick wall building were designed using
Staad pro software and the cost calculation for different component parts of the building were carried out. From the
experimental results, it is observed that the compressive strength of AAC block is comparatively more than
traditional bricks and the density of AAC block is comparatively les which helps in reducing the dead load of
structure. It is found that upto 15 to 20% , the cost of construction can be reduced by using AAC blocks.

Keywords Brick, AAC blocks, Brick, Cost-effectiveness, Material, XTRALITE

Conference Stream Civil Engg

I. Introduction
Bricks are one of the most important building materials in the India. In recent years, with expanding
urbanization and increasing demand for construction materials, brick kilns have grown to meet the demand. It has
directly or indirectly caused a series of environmental and health problems. At a global level, environmental
pollution from brick-making operations contributes to the phenomena of global warming and climate change. Also,
extreme weather may cause degradation of the brick surface due to frost damage. Global warming and
Environmental pollution is now a global concern. Various types of blocks can be used as an alternative to the red
bricks, to reduce Environmental pollution and Global warming. AAC blocks may be one of the solutions for brick
replacement. Similar to foam concrete, Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (AAC) is one of the certified green building
materials, which can be used for commercial, industrial and residential construction. It is porous, non-toxic,
reusable, renewable and recyclable.
AAC was developed in 1924 by a Swedish architect, who was looking for an alternate building material
with properties similar to that of wood having good thermal insulation, solid structure and easy to work with, but
without the disadvantage of combustibility, decay and termite damage. As AAC Block uses fly ash, sand as main
raw material, cement, lime as accessory materials, aluminum powder as forming agent, it refers to foaming through
chemical reaction. It is one kind of new type green warm preservation wall material formed through raw materials
grinding, batching and mixing, pouring and foaming, quiet stop and cutting, autoclave curing processes. It has light
weight, high strength, good durability, heat preservation, sound insulation, fire proofing, impervious, good
anchoring properties.
Significant research studies have been conducted on the development of new construction materials using
different kinds of material. However, the application of these construction materials in real construction is limited.
Therefore more research is needed to study the actual behavior or performance of new construction materials under
field conditions to encourage their practical applications. Many research studies had been conducted utilizing
various new construction materials. Most of these research works focused on the physical and mechanical properties
of construction products. Some of those studies attempted to investigate the durability performance of several
construction materials including AAC block like material. However, more research studies are needed to confirm the
beneficial effects of new construction material. In this context, research work has been started to investigate Cost
effectiveness by using AAC Blocks for building construction. This paper highlights different aspects of using AAC
block masonry construction. Findings of comparative statistical analysis of cost effectiveness of using AAC block
instead of traditional bricks are presented in this paper.
II. Materials and Methodology
For this study, XTRALITE AAC block for various tests were used. Xtralite is a Lightweight Aerated Autoclaved
Concrete (AAC) Block. It is suitable for multistoried structures, as it is lighter in weight than standard size bricks
and blocks. XTRALITE AAC blocks are manufactured through a reaction of aluminum on a proportionate blend of
lime, cement and fly ash. During this process, the hydrogen gas that escapes creates millions of tiny air cells,
rendering XTRALITE with a strong cellular structure. This is further strengthened by high pressure steam curing in
autoclaves. The product thus formed is not only lightweight but also has higher compressive strength. These blocks
are available in many varieties of sizes. AAC blocks can be produced in a large variety of sizes, from standard
blocks to large reinforced panels. AAC blocks are available in 600mm x 200mm x 75 to 300mm i.e. from 3 to 12.
Using this material, various studies and tests was carried out. As a case study for this research work, typical building
plan of institutional building is considered. To precede the study following work was carried out in sequence. AAC
blocks, traditional bricks and other required materials were procured from market. Various engineering properties of
traditional bricks and AAC blocks were tested in laboratory. Then, comparative study of AAC block masonry with
traditional brick masonry was carried out in which various aspects such as size, weight, density, workability, water
absorption, moisture content, curing behaviors, mortar requirement, quantity requirement, plaster requirement, time
require for construction, finishing alternatives, structural behavior, strength and stability, etc were compared. For
such comparison, building plans were selected and structural design of the building using Staad pro software was
carried out in which traditional bricks were used. Again for same building, Structural Design of the building using
Staad pro software was carried out in which AAC block was used. For quantity and cost comparison, detailed
estimate was prepared for both above design. From the data prepared in structural design and estimate, cost
effectiveness of different items of work was compared.
III. Testing of Properties of AAC Blocks
For carrying our comparative study of AAC block masonry for RCC framed structure, systematic
experimental study was been carried out. For this, different lab tests only clay brick, cement brick, and AAC block
was been undertaken. For finding out physical characteristics of AAC block, lab test to determine the average value
of density and moisture content of AAC block, clay brick, and cement brick was undertaken. The experimental
results are shown in Table 1
Table 1. Average Value of Density and Moisture content
Dry Moist Dry Wet Moisture
Sr. Particular Size Volume
weight weight density density content
3 3
mxm cum kg Kg kg/m kg/m %
1 AAC 0.220X0.200X0.145 0.00638 4.724 4.855 740.44 760.97 2.77
2 CLAY 0.20X0.10X0.075 0.0015 2.977 3.627 1984.67 2418 21.83
3 CEMENT 0.20X0.10X0.075 0.0015 3.565 3.736 2376.67 2490.67 4.80
For comparing the Compressive strength of AAC block, clay brick, and cement brick testing on
compression testing machine was undertaken. Details of experimental observations are given in Table 2

Table 2. Compressive Strength

Sr. Particular Sizes Average Average
No Compressive strength Compressive strength
(Dry condition) (Moist Condition)
M N/sq mm N/sq mm
1 AAC BLOCK 0.255X0.200X0.10 4.5 4.26
2 CLAY BRICK 0.20x0.10x0.075 2.4 1.98
3 CEMENT BRICK 0.20x0.10x0.075 1.7 1.3

IV. Comparative Analysis

For comparative study in project building plan of G+4 public building was taken. For the building, double
line plan was prepared considering traditional 9 wall thick wall. For comparative study same building plan is used
considering AAC block for wall having 6 wall thickness. Developed plan and centre line plan for both building was
prepared in AutoCAD software. From developed plan of 9 inch thick wall and 6 inch thick wall, carpet area is
calculated. Centre line plan of 9 thick wall and 6 thick wall building were used in STAAD Pro v 8.1 for making
structural analysis of building. Same procedure was carried out for structural analysis of both the building. Fixed
support is given to all columns after that member property is given to beam and column and then loading is given to
complete building from Indian standard code. Details of moments, shear force and reinforcement details is studied
from Staad Pro software analysis report. For typical intermediate first floor of both 9inch and 6inch building details
of span, moment, loading, steel, and sizes of column, beam, footing were calculated. Shear force and bending
moment of Beam of 9 and 6 were determined. The quantity of materials and calculation of steel quantity required
for beam, column and footing for both 9 and 6 thick wall building was carried out. From the material and steel
calculation cost required for material was calculated. For this rates for item of work were taken from CSR 2013-14.
For comparison purpose, only those item of work were taken where there is a change in sizes of member or quantity
changes. Therefore, detailed estimate was done for cost calculation of excavation, RCC items, steel, wall masonry
and plaster. From the RCC design, material requirement and calculation for 9 and 6 thick wall plan various
quantities were studied and compared. Based on this calculation result and conclusion were drawn.

V. Result and Discussion

From Table 1, column chart as shown in Fig 1 is prepared for comparing the dry density of AAC block. It
is found that dry density of AAC block is about 37 % that of traditional brick. Similarly, column chart as shown in
Fig 2 is prepared for comparing the wet density of AAC block. It is found that dry density of AAC block is about 31
% that of traditional brick.
From Fig 1 and Fig 2, it is seen that there is not much increase in density of AAC block as compared to
traditional red brick. This is well illustrated in Figure 3, showing the comparison of moisture content. When brick
and AAC block are kept in water for 7 day period, moisture content in traditional brick is 21.83 % and that of AAC
bolck is 2.77 %. This shows that AAC block wall does not absorbe water while curing of masonry is done. This is
more beneficial in rainy reason when wall continuously exposed to wet condition due to rain.
Similarly as given in Table 4.2, average compressive strength of AAC block is found to be 4.5 N/mm2 and
that of traditional brick is 2.4 N/mm2. From the experimental values % decrease in compressive strength is
calculated which are given in Table 3.
From Table 3, column chart shown in fig 4 is prepared which clearly indicate that, there is very less
reduction in compressive strength of AAC block from dry condition to wet condition. It is seen that, decrease in
compressive strength from dry condition to wet condition for AAC block is only 5.33 % and that of tradional brick
is 18.18 % which is three time more reduction in strength. Therefore when brick wall becomes wet, its compressive
strength reduces more as compared to AAC blocks.
Fig 1 Comparison of Dry Density Fig 2 Comparison of Wet Density

Table 3 Percentage decrease in Compressive strength

Dry condition(N/sqmm) Wet condition(N/sqmm) % Decrease
AAC block 4.5 4.26 5.33%
Clay Brick 2.42 1.98 18.18%
Cement Brick 1.7 1.3 23.53%

Fig 3 Comparison of Moisture content Fig 4 Comparison of decrease in Compressive Strength

The total carpet area is measured which is summerized in table 4. It is observed that when AAC block wall
of 6 width is used instead of traditional 9 thick clay brick wall, there is aprox 3.5 % increase in carpet area per
floor of building.
Table 4 Carpet area comparison
9'' thick wall 6'' thick wall
Particular building building Percentage Reduction
Unit Sqm Sqm %
Total carpet area 230.91 239.21 3.47

The comparison of quantity of steel is summarised and enumerated in Table 5. It is seen that there is 7.01
% of overall reduction in quantity of steel require when building is designed for AAC block wall RCC framed
Table 5 Comparison of steel quantity
Sr.No. Item 9'' Wall Plan 6'' Wall Plan % Saving
1 Footing 0.428 0.404 5.60
2 Column 0.898 0.821 8.57
3 Beam 9.235 9.897 -7.16
Overall Saving 7.01
The quantity of brick, block, sand, aggregate, steel, cement required for 9 thick wall building and 6 thick
wall building are summarized in Table 6. It is observed that when AAC block are used instead of traditional brick
there is cost saving of 12.72 % for one floor. Similarly as mortar required for AAC block masonry is very less
because of thin joints, and also both side plaster thickness require is 12mm only, there is substantial reduction in
sand cost up to 60.12 %. This is more significant criteria for reduction in overall cost of construction when AAC
blocks are used.

Table 6 Comparison of Cost of various materials required

Cost 9'' thick Cost 6'' % Saving
Sr. Item 9" plan 6" plan Rate(Rs.) wall Rs. thick wall Rs.
1 Block 0 48.81 4350/CUM 0 212323 12.72
2 Brick 38924 0 6.25/BRICK 243275 0
3 Sand
Footing 2.798 2.642 1400 3917 3698
Column 7.448 6.026 1400 10427 8436
Beam 14.510 6.828 1400 20314 9559
masonry 21.230 2.850 1400 29722 3990
plaster 0.194 0.068 1400 271 95
Total 64651 25778 60.12
4 Aggregate
Footing 4.103 3.875 875 3590 3390
Column 10.924 8.838 875 6558 7733
Beam 21.282 10.015 875 18621 8758
Total 28769 19881 30.89
5 Cement
Footing 37.37 35.23 280 10463 9864
Column 99.317 80.35 280 27808 22498
Beam 193.47 91.048 280 54171 25493
masonry 106.150 24.490 280 29722 6857
Plaster 1.160 0.410 280 324 114
Total 122488 64826 47.07
6 Steel
Column 898.88 821.21 50/Kg 44944 41060
Beam 9235.2 9897.37 50/Kg 461760 494868
Footing 428 404 50/Kg 21400 20200
Grand Total Rs. 987292 878936 10.97
From the table 6, it is observed that there is saving of about 30.89 % in quantity of aggregate require for
various RCC elements. In the building where AAC blocks are used for wall masonry, dead load on beam reduces
therefore there is reduction in size of beam as well as column and footing also. Therefore there in saving in all three
material cement, sand and aggregate. As given in above table overall saving in cement is about 47.07 %. This is
most promising saving in construction of building. The overall saving including effect of all savings is seen to be
10.97 %. This saving is for one floor only. If the building is having G+ 3 storey then overall saving in cost of
building is about 43.88% which is considerable amount.

VI. Conclusions
From above results and discussion, following conclusions are drawn regarding cost effectiveness of using
AAC block for building construction
i) Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (AAC) is manufactured from common and abundant natural raw materials.
Therefore, It is extremely resource-efficient and environment friendly.
ii) The energy consumed in the production process emits no pollutants and creates no byproducts or toxic
waste products. The work ability of AAC helps to eliminate waste on the jobsite.
iii) From the experimental results carried out in this study, it is observed that compressive strength of AAC
blocks is comparatively more than traditional clay brick. Therefore they are suitable for walls in RCC
framed building.
iv) Density of AAC block is 1/3 that of traditional clay brick and there is no more change in wet condition. It
helps in reducing dead load of structure.
v) Cost of construction reduces by maximum up to 20 % as reduction of dead load of wall on beam makes
comparatively lighter members.
vi) As both side face of AAC block wall are plane, the required thickness of plaster is very less, therefore there
is substantial reduction up to 50% in requirement of cement and sand for plaster work.

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