Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (AAC) is widely used in Australia, Japan and Europe in reinforced concrete/steel structures and constructing masonry buildings due to its advantages such as lightweight, good insulation and high quality. These advantages of the material can be combined with reinforcing elements to create an added value product of structural panel with load carrying capability. Current use of engineered reinforced AAC panels are limited to partition walls with little emphasis on using them as structural elements.
Panels & Blocks is one of the most popular choice for low-rise building systems worldwide. Clay bricks, AAC blocks and pumice blocks are the commonly used engineered construction material for masonry. AAC has some unique material properties such as being light weight, good insulation, airtightness and fire resistance. In Europe, approximately 60% of the new building constructions uses different types of AAC elements. Among these materials, AAC, when produced with reinforcement as panel elements, can offer a comprehensive precast construction alternative for low-rise buildings. Reinforced AAC panels, produced with a length of 60 cm up to 6 m height and desired thickness are usually used in the housing industry as partition walls.
On the other hand, they can be used to construct load bearing walls by placing desired number of them side by side. Additional longitudinal reinforcing bars are placed at the ends of each panel and the gaps around the reinforcement are filled with grout. Hence, AAC panel construction can increase the speed of erection compared to classical brick masonry while allowing to design the reinforcement for a target failure mode. In addition, reinforced AAC vertical panel building systems have additional advantages in seismic zones such as less building weight resulting in smaller lateral (inertial) forces, better ductility due to the presence of reinforcement.