In Pakistan house construction methods adopted are not as advance as compared to rest of developing or developed countries where latest engineering technologies are being adopted. In most parts of our country most commonly used method for house construction is known as brick structure. In this method load bearing clay bricks are used to complete the structure and load of whole structure is entirely on bricks. In some parts where the terrain is not plain or soil is not hard enough, frame structure method is adopted where load of structure is on raft foundation, columns and beams, however even in this method bricks are used as partition material for walls. There is another material that can be used instead of bricks for partition walls and that is called blocks, blocks are of different types such as:
- Concrete solid blocks
- Concrete hollow blocks
- AAC blocks
- CLC blocks
Concrete solid blocks are very commonly available at economical prices in local markets and can also be made on site using moulds. Raw material used for this kind of blocks consists of cement, sand and fine crush. These blocks can cost around 25-30 Rs/block if made on site and most common size of this block is 8″x8″x12″. If these blocks are not made on site than additional cost will be 15 Rs/block that includes loading, offloading and carriage.
AAC stands for autoclaved aerated concrete blocks. These blocks are made using cement, lime, fly ash, gypsum and aeration compound using high energy input. These blocks can be manufactured in advanced and well established plants equipped with steam boiler and high pressure autoclaves. Currently there is no company in Pakistan that is actively producing AAC blocks however few companies that started operations but could not continue due to less or no demand of these types of blocks back in 2018-2019 were selling the blocks in price range of 200-300 Rs/block in following sizes(LxHxW):
CLC stands for cellular lightweight concrete blocks. These blocks are made using cement, flyash, water and foaming agents. These blocks doesn’t require well equipped plants, simple foam generator and ribbon mixer is enough to manufacture this block. CLC blocks in Pakistan are currently being manufactured by Banu mukhtar in following sizes in price range of 175-200 Rs/block:
CLC blocks can be used as partition blocks if you are building your house using frame structure method. Since this block is very light weight, steel cost can be saved by designing a smart structure and not using huge amount of steel in your building. Secondly it also provides heat and sound insulation. It doesn’t require curing like clay bricks before fixing. Wastage is very less since all blocks are made on plants and there is no A grade or B grade blocks each block is of same quality unlike clay bricks which have 5-7% wastage in form of low quality bricks in each stack. Both sides of wall have fair face surfaces in case of CLC block work unlike clay bricks in which one side is rough and other side is neat, hence reducing overall plaster and mortar cost. Very few almost upto 5 mm mortar is required in case of CLC blocks for horizontal and vertical joints unlike clay bricks where mortar goes upto 10mm during fixing.
Team Overc’s has made a brief video about the introduction, advantages and method of installation for concrete blocks: