Last Updated Oct 22, 2010 · Written by Craig Gibson
Are you looking for a building material that is lighter than standard materials yet still has all the same qualities, if not more? Why not consider lightweight building blocks? Read on to learn more.
Hebel blocks are the most common lightweight building block available, and the best known. It is a type of aerated concrete that is made into blocks for use in both loadbearing and non loadbearing construction. Hebel blocks provide great insulation (against both heat and sound), is fire resistant, is non toxic, can be installed quickly, the size of the blocks is uniform, and it is easy to work with. All top of all this, it is only 25 percent of the weight of traditional concrete.
Lightweight building blocks are blocks that are made from concrete and aerated or combined with another material to form blocks that are up to 75 percent lighter than traditional building blocks. They are made using a variety of materials. Such materials include:
• Limestone aggregate
• Recycled aggregates
• Fuel Ash
These materials are mixed through the concrete in order to reduce the total weight of the block. Usually the aggregate, polystyrene, or fuel ash makes up the majority of the product in a way that does not compromise strength.
Aeration is also a common way to produce lightweight building blocks. Aeration is done by mixing air through concrete, which is then cured in order to produce blocks.
The primary benefit of lightweight building blocks is, as the name suggests, that they are light, making them easy to work with. As well their low weight, they are also:
• resistant to weather elements such as frost, water, sulphate, and sun
• can be loadbearing or non loadbearing
• excellent for thermal and acoustic insulation
• can be used in all areas of construction
• saves on energy
• other building materials can be applied or attached to the blocks
• fire resistant
• resistant to termites and other pests
• reduce greenhouse gas emissions as there is less transportation and also less machinery needed for construction