AerBlock Enterprises, owned by Michael Baron, and Bonner Design Consultancy, owned by Jay Bonner, along with LUCA Industries USA, which Baron and Bonner jointly operate, have joined forces to manufacture cellular lightweight concrete, better known as CLC, in northern New Mexico.
Throughout Europe, aerated autoclaved concrete (AAC) has been used as a versatile material with applications that range from cast ornamentation and panels/blocks to complete buildings. This building material does not burn, mold, or rot; possesses excellent thermal- and sound-insulation properties; and can withstand seismic activity. Baron and Bonner are working with a proprietary CLC technology similar to AAC, but far more versatile and much less expensive. This technology is an ideal green construction material as it is self-insulating, non-flammable, seismically strong for its weight, and has a low carbon footprint.
Baron and Bonner’s goal is to manufacture their CLC with locally available resources. The partners turned to NMSBA, and together with Giday Wolde Gabriel of Los Alamos National Laboratory evaluated samples of abundant locally sourced material for its pozzolanic potential. His investigations of the physical, chemical, and mineralogical properties of the samples, and compressive strength testing of manufactured blocks, confirmed that these local materials have excellent characteristics for CLC mix-designs.
With data in hand, Baron and Bonner are intending to scale-up their CLC production in a new facility to manufacture insulation panels, wall units, and lightweight architectural ornaments. By manufacturing their affordable green building products in a production facility using local resources and employees,
the entire region will reap economic benefits.