Autoclaved Aerated Concrete as a Holistic Building System
When Dr. Johan Axel Eriksson, an assistant professor for Building Techniques at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, developed Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (AAC) in 1923, he could not have anticipated how his work would impact the future of building. AAC, originally conceived as a wood substitute, has become a global industry rooted in one of the most widely-used and economical cellular concrete building systems available. Eriksson‘s product can be tooled like wood, but it is concrete. It is a mass wall product (has high thermal mass) and yet is insulative. It is porous but passively manages moisture. It has superior acoustical attenuation properties, is fire resistive, projectile impact resistive, carveable (as in gargoyles), cost effective, and most charmingly, it floats in water. Because it is structural it can be manufactured-like other concrete products-as block or prefabricated steel-reinforced panels. Because it has millions of entrained air bubbles, depending on its manufacturing class for density, volume for volume it can weigh as little as 20% of the weight of conventional concrete.