Technology has changed the way we think, work, and live our lives. It is instigating a fresh approach towards better, more innovative, new-age solutions that are future ready. One such product is the Autoclaved Aerated Concrete Blocks (AAC Blocks). Over the last decade, this green and non-toxic building construction material has emerged as a preferred choice over the red brick due to its unique combination and superior build properties like strength, low weight, thermal insulation, sound absorption, unrivalled fire resistance, and economical pricing – reasons why the AAC block has emerged as the future of building construction.
With around 150-180 plants for making AAC blocks, India is the second largest block manufacturer in the world after China. India’s block Industry is almost entirely unorganized, and is characterized by a large number of small players competing at the regional level.
Despite the high growth of AAC blocks in building application during the last decade, it comprises only 7-8% of the industry, while 85-90% of the industry is still dominated by Red Bricks. This presents a huge potential for AAC blocks in the years to come.
The global autoclaved aerated concrete (AAC) market size is expected to reach USD 28.41 billion at a steady CAGR of 5.3% in 2028, according to Emergen Research. A recent report says that the Indian AAC blocks market is anticipated to register a CAGR of 14.3% during 2020-27 to reach Rs. 11,000 crore.
With increasing regional government projects and expanding real-estate industry, demand for autoclaved aerated concrete is expected to see an upsurge. The Indian government’s ‘Housing for All by 2024’ is also a major game changer for the industry. Projects such as Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, Police Housing, Kanya Shiksha Parishar, etc. where the Government has made mandatory to use AAC Blocks.
India is likely to witness an investment of around USD 1.3 trillion in housing over the next seven years, during which it is likely to witness the construction of 60 million new homes. The union cabinet has also extended the validity of the PMAY-Gramin programme till March 31, 2024, to achieve the target of constructing 2.95 crore houses.
AAC block manufacturing is gaining prominence and a large number of plants are being set up across the country, especially in Western India. A large number of Integrated Townships, Mass Housings (for Urban Poor, Slum Rehabilitation etc), IT/ITES Parks, High Rise buildings, and SEZs’ are commonly seen these days with AAC blocks. Growth in this segment will increase exponentially in the years to come due to increased awareness amongst builders and architects about the beneficial attributes of AAC blocks over red clay and fly ash bricks.
Shortage of urban labor and high interest costs have forced developers and construction companies to look for faster and more efficient building materials. Projects constructed using AAC blocks complement the project management in terms of speed, consistency, and quality of construction.
In the domestic market, factors such as pent-up demand and the Indian government’s impetus through numerous infrastructure and housing projects, and regulations to use eco-friendly construction materials under its net-zero carbon emission mission, are the primary factors to steer the AAC market growth.
Growth in the infrastructure sector, growing preferences for low-cost houses, and an ever-increasing focus on green and soundproof buildings, are driving the AAC market.
AAC blocks, owing to its energy efficient properties along with being fire resistant, termite or pest resistant, seismic resistant, lightweight, sustainable, quick and easy in application, have emerged as a preferred choice.
The construction industry for the longest time has used red clay bricks. Fundamental issue, however, is that it used red soil for mass production, which is cultivable soil that reduces the forest area.
AAC is a natural and non-toxic construction material that saves energy and is eco-friendly for the environment. Additionally, thermal insulation properties of AAC blocks reduces the energy consumption and helps fight global warming, resulting in the savings during the life of the building.
Economical and Faster Execution
AAC Blocks help by building the home better, faster, and cheaper by use of innovative construction technologies – the reason why they have emerged as a suitable replacement of clay bricks.
Fly ash is one of the key raw materials used in AAC blocks. In India, there are many thermal power plants which generate coal waste (fly ash), which are used in the AAC blocks as a raw material, and also provides a green solution to India’s brick industry.
The current pricing of raw materials like lime, cement, petcoke, and aluminum powder is also in favor of AAC blocks compared to clay bricks. Over the last decade or so, the prices of bricks have risen considerably as compared to AAC Blocks, which further gives AAC a competitive advantage. AAC Blocks are priced at ~Rs. 4000 per cbm, while the price of bricks has crossed Rs. 5500 per cbm.
Upcoming Products & Plans of BigBloc
BigBloc is the only listed company in the AAC Block space in India and the largest in Western India. The company has plans to launch ALC Panels, Tile Adhesives, Gypsum Plaster, and other construction chemicals. It aims to become the largest manufacturer of AAC Blocks and Panels in India in the next 2-3 years.
It is also the only company in this segment to generate carbon credits. The company is committed towards producing green building products and solutions to help the Construction and Infrastructure Industry to build green and sustainable habitats.
With the vision to Conserve Soil, the company has launched NXTBLOC - a green product. The carbon footprints of NXTBLOC AAC blocks are considerably less compared to traditional walling materials (per sq ft carbon levels: AAC blocks 2.13 kg of CO2, clay bricks 17.6 kg of CO2, concrete walls 14 kg of CO2).
Furthermore, the light weight of NXTBLOC AAC blocks reduces the carbon emission as more cubic meter can be transported per truck load as compared to traditional walling material (3 trucks traditional material in cu m equates 1 truck AAC blocks in cu m).