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Resources & Environment

High resource efficiency, low environmental impact

Autoclaved aerated concrete's high resource efficiency gives it low environmental impact in all phases of its life cycle, from processing of raw materials to the disposal of AAC waste.

resources chartRaw materials
AAC is made from naturally occurring materials that are found in abundance - lime, fine sand, other siliceous materials, water and a small amount of aluminium powder (manufactured from a by-product of aluminium) - plus cement.

Production
Thanks to continuous efficiency improvements, production of AAC demands relatively small amounts of raw materials per m3 of product, and up to a fifth as much as other construction products. No raw materials are wasted in the production process and all production offcuts are fed back into the production circuit. The small amount of surplus material left over after curing is ground and recovered for other uses.

The manufacture of AAC requires less energy than for all other masonry products, thereby reducing use of fossil fuels and associated emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2). Energy is also saved in the curing process since steam curing is carried out at relatively low temperatures and the hot steam generated in the autoclaves is reused for subsequent batches. Industrial-quality water is used and neither water nor steam are released into the environment. No toxic gases are created in the production process.

Transportation
AAC's light weight also saves energy in transportation. The fact that AAC is up to five times lighter than concrete and two to three times lighter than clay brick leads to significant reductions in CO2 emissions during transport. To reduce the need for transportation, AAC manufacturers apply the principle of producing as near to their consumer market as possible.

Use
AAC's excellent thermal efficiency makes a major contribution to environmental protection by sharply reducing the need for space heating and cooling in buildings (see Great Energy Efficiency fact sheet for further details).

In addition, AAC's easy workability allows accurate cutting that minimises the generation of solid waste during use. Unlike other building materials AAC does not need to be used in combination with insulation products, which increase the environmental impact and cost of construction.

Reuse, recovery and disposal
Throughout the life cycle of AAC, potential waste is reused or recycled wherever possible to minimise final disposal in landfill.

AAC manufacturers have taken on a voluntary commitment to recover separated and sorted AAC waste from construction and demolition sites for recycling and reuse. Where AAC waste is sent to landfill, its environmental impact is minor since it contains no toxic substances.

New category Recommendations

Prepared by our Technical Committee you will find under this new category recommendations for design of reinforced AAC.

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Earthquake statement

Lightweight-Construction materials improve earthquake Resistance in Buildings: In 2016, a series of devastating earthquakes in Italy led to the harrowing loss of life. This tragedy was partially the ...

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Position Paper on CPR Implementation

The European Commission is currently reviewing the implementation of the Construction Products Directive EU 305/2011 (CPR) on national level. Representing more than 100 production sites for ...

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Sustainable Energy Week 2017

Sustainable Energy Week 2017 will take place between 19 and 25 June 2017. See more at www.eusew.eu Organised by local public and private organisations, Energy Days are activities and events that ...

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EU Sustainable Energy Week High Level Policy Conference

The EU needs better policy to unlock zero energy buildings’ potential | Joint Press Release The Autoclaved Aerated Concrete Industry and Builders’ merchants call for clear definitions of energy ...

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EU Sustainable Energy Week 2014 - Save the date

The Sustainable Energy Week 2014 will take place between 23 and 27 June 2014. See more at www.eusew.eu EAACA is pleased to invite you to a High Level Policy Conference as part of the EU Sustainable ...

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