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Construction
industry being 2nd most carbon emitting industry in the world,
requires massive rework in its model regarding the building material usage and techniques.
There is a robust body of authors
writing explicitly within the construction field who call for a change in
construction material which catalyst the building process. This has invoked the
replacement of red clay brick and cement with alternative material which is
less carbon emitting material. This has led to formation of Autoclaved Aerated
Concrete back in 1924 but its acceptance in the construction industry came very
late. A detailed literature review has been conducted in accordance with research
objective. The literature review suggested that there are serious benefits of accepting
AAC over clay brick and RC blocks and it also possess the feasibility in
manufacturing the AAC blocks as the market has started accepting it big time.
Furthermore, based on it questionnaire will be formed along with
semi-structured interview will be conducted to understand the impact of AAC on
project success.   At present, construction works,
such as high-rise constructions of commercial and residential houses, in many
countries are growing at very fast rate. Concrete has largely been used as
vital construction material for maximum of building because of its exceptional
mechanical properties, low cost and availability. However, structure and
foundation of buildings tend to turn out to be larger due to an increase in
their scale, steering to much more time feeding and cost. Meanwhile, both the
economic and energy crisis has fuelled the awareness of energy conservation,
resulting in a drastic increase in studies on construction material which
incorporates energy conservation. Whereas, red bricks are one of the most
prominent construction material used for construction and the carbon dioxide
emissions in the brick manufacturing process has been certified as a relevant
factor to global warming. Therefore, it becomes necessary to focus more on
pursuing environmental solutions for greener environment. (Rathi, n.d.)

Subsequently walls being important
part of any structure as they are the ones which distinguishes the structure
from the environment; providing insulation, privacy etc. and the brickwork is
what makes the wall and one very important for us now is AAC blocks which we
are comparing with regular Burnt Clay Bricks. The feasibility of AAC block must
be determined to make it an ideal replacement for the red clay brick along with
identifying the right materials that has to be added while making it, since
numerous substance are available to make it feasible, but question remains
which suites the best for the application in construction.

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Therefore, the basis of this
dissertation is to identify whether the AAC blocks are the ideal replacement
for the red clay bricks and RC blocks and to understand the feasibility of
manufacturing the AAC blocks in which getting the right mixture of substance is
vital as different substance react differently in different climatic condition,
since walls being the one which always remains in direct contact with weather,
it becomes the topic of importance while considering the manufacturing mixture
for AAC blocks.It
is widely acknowledged that the need of an hour is to reduce carbon footprints
and move towards the sustainable world where carbon emission is as minimalistic
as possible. To do so, the construction industry must reframe their methodology
as the operation of building accounts for atleast 40% of total energy
consumption of the country which is equivalent to 13% of global CO2 emission (Yang
and Lee, 2014). To overcome this, cement and concrete must be reduced but also
the material used in the building must provide thermal insulation which reduces
the use of energy to maintain the temperature.

In
line with the study’s first research objective this review will look at the
broad body of literature surrounding the concepts of Autoclaved Aerated
Concrete blocks as it has become the attractive construction material in the
market which has picked up the pace for utilization inplace of clay bricks and
various other reinforced concrete blocks since the properties like light
weight, high strength, good durability, heat preservation, sound insulation,
fire proofing, impervious, good anchoring has lead them to come in limelight
and made it an ideal choice of replacement for traditional masonry with clay
bricks which lacked in this field when compared to AAC blocks (Yang and Lee, 2014).

To
start with the research, the manufacturing of AAC block must be reviewed, as
the red clay brick manufacturing process emitted the maximum CO2 gas. Manufacturing
process explained by Jain and Shah
(2014), consist of aluminium (0.15%) in place of aggregate along with
Portland cement, silica, fly ash and water. The burning temperature plays an
important part in baking the AAC block as the composite material which are
added in place of aggregate to make it more sustainable reacts differently at
varied temperature and if overly baked reduces the block’s compressive strength
due to excess hydrogen gas formation. In the process of making AAC blocks, hydrogen
gas generation method helps the initiation of chemical reaction between
materials at varied temperature and form hydrogen atom which makes the block
porous and decrease the density of the block substantially which when compared
to clay brick or the reinforced concrete (RC) block is almost 1/3rd to them. The
right balance must be struck with the density, since compressive strength and
density are inversely proportional. Due to the porosity, blocks have high
thermal performance, hence the substantiality of blocks and the viability for
the use in condition of acoustic insulation is ideal, however, based on the
fire resistance properties of block, they can have multiple application in the
infrastructure sector and can be easily used as the replacement for the clay
bricks or reinforced concrete (RC) blocks. During the comparison of AAC block
with clay brick, the result obtained by author clearly suggested AAC block have
an upper hand in the field of productivity as the size of block is almost the 8
times the clay brick which speed up the masonry work and eventually saves the
construction cost. However, the manufacturing process explained by Dhote and
Singh (2016), consist of fly ash as the major ingredient along with cement,
silica, aluminium and water. Fly ash being the waste generated from power
generating factory and used as major material for AAC blocks helps reducing the
carbon footprint and makes the manufacturing process cheaper compared to other
bricks available in market. Fly ash cements on heating make the block firm
enough to carry the load same as the clay brick although the density is almost
the 1/3rd the clay brick. Author also supports the thought of
product viability that arises from the fact that there is a huge existing
market for conventional clay bricks which neither offers huge technical
advantages obtained from AAC, nor is the manufacturing environment friendly
compared to AAC production. 

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