A Little About AAC Ecopanels
Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (often shortened to ‘AAC’) is an alternative building product used in residential and commercial construction.
The use of AAC panels are widespread in the Eastern States and are recently breaking the market in Western Australia, but AAC products have been used around the world for over 70 years.
AAC panels are made up of mainly sand, cement and lime with a thick reinforced steel mesh inside to bind and strengthen the panel. Panels are made to very exacting dimensions with less waste and a lot less on-site mess to clean up.
The panels are fully biodegradable as the main part can be crushed down to powder form and reused in road base and the steel melted and reused, making it a substantial eco-friendly choice.
The Fire retardant properties are above average, 4hrs plus which makes them perfect for construction of rooms to house fire hazardous and flammable materials or in high risk bushfire areas.
The Thermal aspects make it a great choice for massive savings on Heating and Cooling costs, as rooms are kept at a constant temperature, also eliminating excessive insulation costs. AAC is also good for coastal areas as there is no leaching from the panel, also insects, vermin or other pests are not attracted to it for food.
AAC is load bearing and can be used as internal divider walls and is able to support quite large loads.
The sound properties of AAC make the product great for party walls, music rooms or anywhere noise needs to be kept to a minimum or reduced, including double/multi storey buildings as flooring, and can be built on immediately after laying.
Tiles, carpets, timber flooring etc can be laid directly to the panels.
The installation of floor and wall panels is a quick process, (3m panel is equivalent to approximately 80 bricks) which results in faster construction time.
The panels are finished with a variety of coatings to seal and make the panels water resistant, a wide range of colours can be sourced and never needs to be painted again unless you want to change the colour.
For different finishes Dulux Acratex gives a rendered result while Stucco can be sprayed on or for a more individual look, or there are a range of stone mouldings available on the market that can be adhered directly to the panel. Inside divider walls can be white set or a better alternative is to gyprock the walls.
Wall panels come in a variety of lengths to suit most builds, ranging from 1200mm to 3m in length, always 600mm in width and mainly 50mm, 75mm and 100mm thickness.
While the 50mm and 75mm have a single layer of 8mm steel mesh throughout, the 100mm and thicker panels have a double layer of 8mm steel mesh inside which accounts for its weight bearing abilities as well as being denser to prevent any cracking due to subsoil or foundation movement. Other sizes for other uses can be obtained starting from 125mm up to 300mm in thickness.
Panels can be used solely as the main structure of a wall of a dwelling or a cladding with the use of a frame either timber or steel. They can be used for internal divider walls of a dwelling also. Flooring panels also come in various lengths and thickness, 75mm and 100mm panels use joists at 600mm centre, with the 240mm thick flooring panels that can span 4m with no joists and will carry 4kn or 400kg per Sqm.