AAC Blocks Vs Red Bricks: How to Make the Right Choice

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Red Bricks are common building materials. Red bricks are not only one of the oldest but also the most extensively used building materials worldwide. These building materials are the most popular and leading construction material because it is cheap, durable and easy to handle and to work with.

AAC blocks are one of the major achievements of the 20th century in the field of construction. It is a revolutionary material offering a unique combination of high durability and strength, low weight and superior ecological green features.

AAC Blocks and Red Bricks both are important building materials for constructing walls. Red bricks & AAC blocks are used in walls as per their properties, availability and cost. Hence, here we give you a brief comparison of Red Bricks & AAC Blocks to help you make the right choice.

Clay Brick Vs AAc Block
Courtesy - 123rf

RED BRICKS

AAC BLOCKS

01. GENERAL

Red Bricks

  • A Red brick is a block, or a single unit of a ceramic material used in masonry construction, usually stacked together or laid using various kinds of mortar to hold the bricks together and make a permanent structure.
  • Bricks are typically produced in common or standard sizes in bulk quantities.

AAC Blocks

  • AAC Blocks are lightweight building materials cut into masonry blocks or formed larger planks and panels.
  • AAC Block is relatively uniform when compared to other wall unit and does not contain coarse aggregate phase.

02. RAW MATERIAL

Red Bricks

  • It is made by mixture of clay(alumina), sand, Lime, iron oxide and Magnesia
  • Natural soil is used for Production of Bricks. Hence ultimately it will vary depending upon the quality of local soil, i.e. Top soil of Earth Crust.

AAC Blocks

  • It is made from the mixture of fly ash, cement, lime, gypsum and an aeration agent.
  • The Fly ash used in AAC Blocks production is eco-friendly & Cement is used in very little Quantity.
  • The Problem of fly ash utilisation is solved by the use of fly-ash in AAC Block. This was a major problem till day.

03. USES

Red Bricks

01. As a Structural Unit:

Red bricks are strong, hard, durable, therefore they are used as a structural material in different structures such as

  • Buildings
  • Bridges
  • Foundations
  • Arches and cornices
  • Pavements

02. As an Aesthetic and Finish Surface:

Bricks are used as per its different colours, sizes and orientations to get different surface designs. As an aesthetic material brick can be used

  • As Facing Bricks
  • Architectural Purposes
  • Exposed practice work

AAC Blocks

  • AAC Block can be used to build internal and external walls.
  • It can also be used as load bearing and non load bearing walls.

04. ADVANTAGES

Red Bricks

  • Raw material is easily and cheaply available. So it is economical.
  • Red Bricks are low maintenance, permanent, hard and durable building material.
  • Compressive strength is good enough for ordinary construction.
  • Different orientations and sizes give different surface textures
  • Demolishing of brick structures is very easy and less time consuming.
  • It is reusable and recyclable.
  • Highly fire resistant.

AAC Blocks

  • AAC blocks are very easy to handle and ordinary tools are used for cutting.
  • AAC blocks are available in large sizes and hence less no of joints. This ultimately results in faster construction on site and less consumption of cement.
  • Earthquake forces are proportional to the weight of building and it ultimately reduces the load on buildings, and hence less steel in case of RCC structure.
  • AAC blocks are made from an inorganic material which helps to avoid termites, damages or losses.
  • Saves steel and concrete due to the reduction in dead weight.
  • Increase in floor area due to a reduction in the size of columns and thickness of the wall.
  • Easy to transport on upper floors.
  • Time-saving in construction
  • AAC blocks have a very low thermal conductivity which keeps interior remain cool in summer and warm in winter.
  • AAC blocks reduce interior temperature variation maintaining pleasant and healthy temperature for habitant.
  • AAC blocks reduce the energy cost of air-conditioning to a great extent due to its thermal property.
  • AAC blocks are appropriate for fire rated application for desired safety.
  • One AAC block of size (600 x 200 x 100 mm) is equivalent to 6 bricks hence it reduces 50% of joints resulting in saving of mortar up to 48%. In the case of 150 mm or thicker block masonry, the mortar saving is even more due to avoidance of vertical joint in conventional brick masonry.
  • Minimal wastage of AAC blocks.
  • It is environment-friendly and also saves water. Hence it is popularly used as a green product.
  • The production cost of AAC Blocks is expensive but on the whole project cost decrease.

05. DISADVANTAGES

Red Bricks

  • Time consuming construction
  • Red Bricks cannot be used in high seismic zones for load bearing structures.
  • A red brick absorbs water easily so Efflorescence occurs due to the presence of salt in water.
  • Rough surfaces of bricks may cause moulds growth if it is not properly cleaned.
  • Continuous use of Red bricks in construction will lead to extensive loss of fertile top soil and hence potential agricultural land.
  • Red bricks are heavy in weight so that the structure needs to withstand greater weight, and hence construction cost increases.
  • Big damage to environmental and loss of fertile land due to use of clay soil excavation for making of bricks.

AAC Blocks

  • The production cost per unit for AAC Block is higher.
  • Plaster sometimes does not stick properly because of its smooth surface. Needs care during production itself, so that surface is not very smooth.

06. IDENTIFICATION ON SITE

Red Bricks

  • Its colour is Red.

AAC Blocks

  • Colour of AAC Block is Grey.

07. PROPERTIES

(a) Size Available in Market

Red Bricks

Standard modular size:

  • 190 x 90 x 90 mm
  • 190 x 90 x 40 mm

Standard Non modular size:

  • 230 x 110 x 70
  • 230 x 110 x 30

These sizes are more popular in india.

AAC Blocks

  • 400-600×100-200×100-300mm

However, it defers from manufacturer to manufacturer.

(b) Variation in Size

Red Bricks

  • 5mm(+/-)
  • Red Bricks are not accurate in size, a largely from area to area.

AAC Blocks

  • 1.5mm(+/-)
  • The AAC Blocks are accurate in size because it is produced by wire cut technology and is a factory product.

(c) Dry Density

Red Bricks

  • 1600-1720 kg/m3
  • 1721-1820 kg/m3
  • 1821-1920 kg/m3

AAC Blocks

  • 451-550 Kg/m3
  • 551-650 Kg/m3
  • 651-750 Kg/m3
  • 751-850 Kg/m3
  • 851-1000 Kg/m3

(d) Weight

Red Bricks

  • 2.5 – 3.5 Kg
  • It will depend on density & size of brick.

AAC Blocks

  • 3 – 4 kg
  • It will depend on Density & size of Block.

(e) Compressive Strength

Red Bricks

  • 30-35 N/mm2
  • Strength is defined as a capacity to resist force or pressure.

AAC Blocks

  • 30-35 Kg/cm2

(f) Water Absorption

Red Bricks

  • Water absorption of brick should not be more than 20% of its weight.

AAC Blocks

  • Water Absorption of this block should not be 10% its weight.

(g) Fire Resistance

Red Bricks

  • 100 mm thick wall can resist fire for up to 2 hours.

AAC Blocks

  • 100 mm thick wall can resist fire for up to 4 hours.

(h) Thermal Conductivity

Red Bricks

  • 0.6- 1.0 W/mk
  • The amount of heat transfer from a specific material is called its thermal conductivity.
  • The thermal conductivity of brick is high, and hence heat transfer from brick is more than AAC block.

AAC Blocks

  • 0.21 – 0.42 W/mk
  • Thermal conductivity of block is lower and less heat transfer from the block.

(i) Moisture Resistance

Red Bricks

  • Moisture Resistance of Red Brick is Average.
  • Moisture resistance will depend on water absorption of brick and proportion of cement mortar.
  • 100/115 mm wall will not have adequate moisture resistance. If poor, it will make walls damp & wet.

AAC Blocks

  • Moisture resistance of AAC block is better than the Red Brick.
  • AAC block consists of unconnected micropores which prevent the capillary transport of moisture over a long distance.

(j) Sound Insulation/Noise Transmission

Red Bricks

  • Sound insulation is defined as the capacity to reduce sound transmission by building elements.
  • Sound transmission also depends upon the thickness of the wall.
  • The brick wall has good sound insulation property due to its dense structure.
  • 45 db sound is reduced by  150 mm and 50 db sound is reduced by 230 mm walls.

AAC Blocks

  • The AAC block has good sound transmission property due to the presence of air voids.
  • 40-45 db sound is reduced for 200 mm thick.

(k) Termite Resistance

Red Bricks

  • Red bricks are not termite resistant as they are made from clay which is an organic material.

AAC Blocks

  • AAC blocks are insect resistant, inorganic and solid wall construction material.
  • AAC block does not allow the spread of termites and pests and hence increase the life of wall.

08. EFFICIENCY

(a) Labour Output

Red Bricks

  • The speed of red Brick work will be slow as compared to Block work.

AAC Blocks

  • The Speed of work will be double than that of clay brick work.

(b) Carpet Area

Red Bricks

  • Less carpet area available compared to block work.

AAC Blocks

  • More carpet area available due to less thickness of block.

(c) Applicability

Red Bricks

  • Red bricks are used for both load bearing and Non-Load Bearing walls.

AAC Blocks

  • AAC Blocks are recommended for high-rise buildings because it substantially reduces total dead load of building

(d) Mortar Consumption

Red Bricks

  • Requires more mortar due to irregular surface & more number of joints.

AAC Blocks

  • Requires less mortar due to flat and even surface & less number of joints.

(e) Speed of Construction

Red Bricks

  • The speed of construction of the brick wall is slower than the block construction.

AAC Blocks

  • Speedy construction of wall due to the bigger block size, light in weight and less number of joint.

(f) Water usage during Manufacturing

Red Bricks

  • Requires more water for curing and hence high amount of electricity bill and labour cost.

AAC Blocks

  • Block is cured by steam and block masonry also requires less curing hence less water is used and there is saving in electricity bill.

(g) Breakage & Utilisation

Red Bricks

  • Average 10 to 12 % breakage happens on construction site, So 100% utilisation is not possible. Even at some place, due to the poor quality of bricks, wastage goes up to 33%.

AAC Blocks

  • Negligible breakage almost 100 % utilisation is possible.

(h) Storage

Red Bricks

  • In monsoon, Stock at the site is compulsory which blocks large working area on the site otherwise work will get stopped.

AAC Blocks

  • Readily available at any time & in any season at a short notice, so no storage required.

(i) Efflorescence

Red Bricks

  • Generally present.
  • Efflorescence occurs due to presence of salt in water and sand.

AAC Blocks

  • Efflorescence occurs through mortar and water.

09. COST

(a) Construct a 1 cum Wall Cost

Red Bricks

  • 1 cum brick work cost around 2500/- in india.

AAC Blocks

  • 1 cum block work cost around 3500/- in india.

(b) Structural Cost

Red Bricks

  • No such saving is possible.

AAC Blocks

  • Steel saving up to 15% & Concrete saving up to 7%.
  • AAC Blocks reduces the load on foundation due to its light self-weight and saves consumption of steel. Hence reduces the Structural Cost.

10. ENVIRONMENT IMPACT

(a) Soil Consumption

Red Bricks

  • One clay brick consumes 3.2 kgs of top fertile soil.

AAC Blocks

  • Zero soil Consumption. The basic Raw material of AAC Block is fly ash. Which otherwise has a disposal problem.

(b) Green Product

Red Bricks

  • Red Brick is not a green product.
  • On the country, it is the enemy of green.i.e.environment.
  • Red Bricks are made from the clay which is naturally available material but it reduces the top fertile soil cover.

AAC Blocks

  • AAC Blocks are made from a non-toxic material which does not harm the environment. Using it reduces the industrial waste, and it also decreases greenhouse gas emissions.
  • During the manufacturing process, Waste of the AAC Block is recycled and used again. This waste is made from the cutting process.
  • Hence AAC Blocks are a Green product.

(c) Earthquake Resistance

Red Bricks

  • Red Bricks have resisted average earthquake forces because the density of brick is more than AAC Block.

AAC Blocks

  • Earthquake forces are proportional to the weight of the building. AAC Blocks reduce the weight of building so it increases the safety against earthquake.

SPECIAL COMMENT

This comparison of AAC blocks Vs Red bricks will help you in making precise selection for the walls of your home.Red Bricks are made from the natural soil. If this natural soil is used continuously for construction. Time will come when natural resources will be scare. Due to this reason block are used for constructing a wall. Using AAC block is very advantageous because it not only conserves the environments; it saves energy and provides safety to life.

Also Read:

Solid Concrete Block Vs AAC Block
Things to Keep in Mind while Buying Brick

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Comments (14)

  1. In my servey. Indian people need to know more about ACC BLOCKS.Here engineer also avoid to suggest the alternative.they make fear among the people for earning purpose.

    1. Dear Neelima
      Thank you for contacting gharpedia and raising such a good query.
      We understand that by scope you mean for how much years AAC will be used. Please note that the current era is an era of fast changing technology, where there is a flood of new materials and technology. Hence it is really difficult for anyone to estimate correctly the life of any product or technology or industry. In this era, any product can be replaced and any technology can be replaced overnight because of new research. However, for a developing country like India, where the demand for low-cost housing is huge the AAC block as a low-cost material should not have any problem for atleast coming 10 to 20 years, till the drywall will replace the same due to higher labour cost in future. As on today, AAC is the best option. The dry walls are still costly though labour saving and hence will not be able to replace AAC block till the cheap labour is available.

      Thanking You
      Gharpedia Team

  2. The ACC bricks may use for furnace process?
    This block small size may use for roof covering/to reduce the heat absorption on the top,please reply

    1. Dear Ranindra
      Thank you for contacting gharpedia and raising such a good query.
      Here we understand that your quantity is for using cement in mortar for block construction and not manufacturing of block themselves. Yes, you can very well use cement for mortar in AAC block.
      However, if you want to use it for manufacturing of blocks then please note that AAC blocks are made by a mixture of fly ash, cement or lime, gypsum and an aeration agent. The cement is used in very little quantity for manufacturing of AAC blocks. However, if you are using more quantity of cement, the cost of AAC blocks will increase. You can achieve required strength using flyash with lime. Please note that flyash used in AAC Blocks production is eco-friendly.

      Thanking You
      Gharpedia Team

  3. How many years AAC block construction will stand after plastering wall in house construction without any kinds of problem (means life of AAC block after construction)

    1. Dear Mohammad Azam
      Thank you for contacting gharpedia.
      Regarding your comment, AAC blocks have an estimated life of almost 100 years. Therefore, house construction which are designed for a span of 50 to 80 years, AAC blocks will last up to the designed life of the house.
      We have already written an article on life of AAC block, please go through the following link:
      https://gharpedia.com/life-of-aac-blocks-vs-red-bricks/
      Hope this will be helpful for you. If you still have any doubt, you can any time reach to us.
      Thanking You
      Gharpedia Team

  4. For a warehouse construction of 17000 square feet, is it recommended to use red brick or aac? What are the pros and cons of both the materials especially in terms of temperature sustainability , cost and durability. I keep getting suggestions that bricks are long lasting than others. Does aac construction require special type of engineering and structural plan?

  5. Is aac block or hollow block recommended for stock warehouse construction? What are the pros and cons of using aac or hollow blocks vs red brick in terms of temperature sustainability, cost and durability? Does it require different structural planning and special engineering? Please reply

    1. Dear Suganya
      Thank you for contacting gharpedia.

      Yes, you can use AAC block or hollow block for stock warehouse construction.

      Regarding your second query, pros and cons of AAC or hollow block and red brick,

      Temperature Sustainability:
      The temperature sustainability (thermal insulation) of hollow or AAC block is very good as compared to red brick as the thermal conductivity of AAC block is low.

      Cost:
      For mass construction, AAC blockwork is less costly as compared to red brickwork whereas, for small construction, the AAC blockwork is more costly as compared to red brickwork.

      Durability:
      The red bricks are more durable as compared to AAC block. However, for life of a warehouse, there should not be any problem.

      The cost advantage will basically depend upon the local price at your site. Further, because it is a low-rise structure, the advantage of less steel per sqft in high rise buildings is not available here as the dead load is not a governing factor. Hence, if there is no cost advantage and quality of bricks available is good, you can equally choose bricks, i.e. as there is no saving in steel, it will basically depend on the cost of AAC block vs red brick.

      For more information on AAC Blocks and Red bricks, please refer following links:

      https://gharpedia.com/commonly-used-masonry-units/

      https://gharpedia.com/life-of-aac-blocks-vs-red-bricks/
      Regarding your third query, the AAC block construction does not require structural planning and special engineering.

      Hope your doubt will clear now. If you still have any doubt, you can reach to us.
      Thanking You
      Gharpedia Team

      1. Reply from Suganya 

        Thanks for your valuable suggestions. May I know if you could provide consultation on warehouse construction so that I could get better idea before starting the construction.

        Solution by Gharpedia

        Dear Suganya

        Thanks for appreciating our service. We regret that we do not provide consultation service nor is our object to do so. We only providing information regarding construction/building materials, techniques, etc. related to the house. We request you to find some experienced contractor from your city and get it done. However, feel free to contact us anytime for any help. And all our advice is free.
        Thanking You
        Gharpedia Team

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