Last Updated on by Zunaira
The construction industry in Pakistan is gradually moving towards innovations and advancements. Using CLC blocks instead of conventional bricks is the latest trend to follow, but most people are unaware of their usage and benefits. In several developed and developing countries, these blocks have been used in construction for decades. In Pakistan, most of the builders are still not familiar with using these blocks. In terms of benefits and applications, these blocks can bring revolution in the construction industry of Pakistan.
What are CLC Blocks?
CLC blocks mean Cellular Lightweight Concrete blocks, also called fly ash bricks. These lightweight blocks are made using fly ash, water, sand, cement, and foaming agents. These are advanced concrete blocks that offer more benefits than conventional red bricks. CLC blocks are of two kinds, protein-based and synthetic. Both types have different properties, including strength, durability, and heat conductivity. You can enhance their strength and durability by changing the composition percentage of raw materials.
CLC blocks are mainly used as partition blocks for the frame structure house construction method. These blocks are not famous for load-bearing units, but their strength can be increased by enhancing their thickness. Thus, CLC blocks are also suitable for interior, exterior, and boundary walls.
Benefits of CLC Blocks
- Insulation: CLC blocks are perfect for thermal insulations, especially in summers. The construction of these blocks makes them ideal for resisting heat transfer from the outside to the inside environment. Especially in hot summery climate, these blocks keep houses and buildings cool. Hence, you can save your electricity bills in the summers. Similarly, these blocks also reduce heating cost in winters as they are good insulators.
- Lightweight: CLC blocks are lightweight as compared to conventional bricks. These blocks have a density range between 300kg/m3-1800kg/m3. At the same time, the density of a traditional red brick ranges between 1800kg/m3-2400kg/m3.
- Reduce Construction Cost: CLC blocks reduce the dead load because they are lightweight and require no aggregates. The cost of steel and cement can be reduced when you design your home by using CLC blocks. Heavy bricks need special transportation, but these blocks also reduce transportation costs because of their lightweight.
- Save Installation Time: These blocks are easy to install and require less time in installation also. As CLC blocks are lightweight, they also need less energy for installation. Overall installation effort and time are significantly reduced with using CLC blocks.
- Less Water Permeable: CLC blocks have water pockets that are not interconnected in their construction. That’s why they absorb less water than traditional bricks. As a result, less water absorption reduces the risk of cracks on the walls.
- Eco-friendly: CLC blocks are made with fly ash which is an industrial waste. Thus, these blocks are eco-friendly products. The manufacturing of these blocks does not release harmful substances into our environment. So, compared with red bricks, they are far more eco-friendly.
- Fire Protection: Concrete blocks provide excellent fire protection. The air pockets in CLC blocks work excellently against fire. The CLC blocks wall offers up to 4 hours of fire rating without discharging poisonous fumes into the air.
- Earthquake Resistance: Due to the lightweight of CLC blocks, they are best for areas with higher earthquake rates. Thus, these blocks provide a reliable house structure to resist better to a tragic earthquake than traditional bricks.
Available Sizes of CLC Blocks in Pakistan
In Pakistan, CLC blocks are primarily available in the following sizes (L×W×H).
Applications of CLC Blocks
CLC blocks have the following applications.
- Acoustic Building
- Roof Insulation
- Air-conditioned buildings
- Precast exterior walls
- Green construction
- Construction material for multistorey buildings
- Additional floors to the existing building
- Low-cost houses
Cost-Effectiveness and Pricing
CLC blocks offer sustainable benefits to the environment. The house construction with CLC blocks is more reliable and safer than conventional bricks. However, these blocks are a bit more costly than bricks but offer significant benefits compared to them. The price range per CLC block in 2020 is 55-70 PKR. After the rise in construction material prices, the new rate of CLC blocks is expected to increase 20-30%. The cost of these blocks also depends upon their sizes and quality. Moreover, the rates also vary according to the cities of Pakistan.
But the slightly higher prices of CLC blocks have long-term benefits to offer. Houses built with these blocks have lower electricity costs due to insulations. Labor and transportation cost is also less than traditional brick house construction. So, if you have the budget, it’s good to choose CLC blocks over bricks as they are more beneficial.