AAC building systems have been successfully developed and implemented for 65 years. They have been used in residential and commercial applications.
This article will provide a detailed explanation of the installation steps for AAC panels from a factory perspective. This article provides recommendations and guidance only; the installing contractor should determine specific operations.
Table of Content
There is a full-range of tools that are specially designed to assist in installing AAC wall panels and increase productivity at the job site. AAC panel installation will also require the following standard industry tools:
Check panel layout of approved shop drawings and deliver panels to job site accordingly.
Unload the bundles of panels in a proper manner using approved unloading gear. Protect the AAC panels from rain and water saturation by leaving them on pallets and away from standing water. Eliminate excessive handling by storing AAC panels nearest to where they will be installed. Protect the AAC panels when traveling on uneven ground.
Lay out wall lines on building slab by control lines as well as field verify all dimensions and openings.
Attach wood straight -edge (2x4) to the slab so that it is flush to the inside wall line of the panel. This will act as a guide to install the AAC panels.
Prior to setting AAC panels, mobilize the job site crane to an optimum location to avoid excessive downtime from moving it too often. Attach approved lifting gear to the crane cable and begin installation.
Erection should start from a corner taking care to get AAC panels tightly together. The wall panel is lifted by using a WKV wall panel clamp that is attached to the panel and lowering it onto the large-grain mortar. See step 13 for alternative lifting device.
At the highest corner of the slab place a full width of large-grain mortar using a notched masonry trowel. Use plastic shims as needed, along with Large-grain mortar to correctly level the slab or footing to the correct height. Do not use thin-bed only large-grain mortar to level slab of footing.
As soon as the panel is adjusted to being plumb and level, attach temporary bracing from the upper third of the panel down to the floor. Follow OSHA guidelines for temporary bracing requirements.
Mix the thin-bed mortar in a clean mixing container (5-gallon bucket or pail) per manufacturer's directions. The consistency of the mixed thin-bed mortar should be such that it flows easily through the teeth of the notched trowel leaving the shape of the teeth in the mortar bed. Thin-bed mortar droppings should not be used. Before mixing each new batch, wash out the bucket or pail to prevent any old thin-bed mortar from accelerating the drying time of the new mix
Set the second corner panel tight against the previously set first corner panel using the following actions:
Place thin-bed mortar in between the head joints of the vertical panels using a notched trowel. Either place thin bed mortar on the panel to be installed while it is in the resting position on the ground or place thin-bed mortar on the previously set panel prior to the next one being installed.
Lifting gear installation instructions. Always check lifting device using the calibration unit that is paired with the lifting device, before starting each day and after each break the crew takes. Move the clamp to the end of the wall panel to be lifted. Open the clamp sufficiently, depending on the thickness of the panel, by turning the hand wheel counter clockwise. Rotate the clamp 90 degrees on the handle so that the jaws of the clamp may be placed in the center of the wall panel. Press the inner side of the clamp fully against the wall panel. Apply pressure to the clamp by turning the hand wheel of the clamp clockwise until there is a click and the green windows are visible (do not turn any further). Carefully hoist the wall panel up and maneuver it into the place where it is to be installed. When the wall panel has been positioned correctly, the clamp can be released by turning the hand wheel counterclockwise. The vertical joint between each panel should be skimmed and then scraped while waiting for the next panel.
Lift panel and install it by moving it laterally as close to the previously set panel as possible and then lowering it down onto the large-grain mortar.
Attach Helifix driver to a rotary percussion drill or to a hammer drill as per manufacturer's instructions and load anchor. At corner, install "Helifix" anchors through the face of the side of one panel into the end of the panel that is in the perpendicular direction. Center the Helifix anchor so that it penetrates through the middle of the perpendicular panel. Install as noted on approved shop drawing.
Install galvanized corrugated nails within vertical joints one at 2'-0" from the top of wall and one at 2'-0" from the bottom of wall vertically or as required Using a hammer (more can be used as needed)
Drill and epoxy reinforcing steel dowels into existing slab at the center of the radius of the AAC panel. Continue to install rebar at all locations according to structural drawing.
Repeat step 9 for subsequent panels. Make sure a tight joint is present between panels. Use thin-bed mortar for vertical panel joints. Brace walls as necessary. Minimum bracing should be every three (3) panels.
Install reinforcing steel then pre-wet core and then place concrete (flowable grout) within vertical core according to drawings. Lightly tap rebar to help consolidate the grout and then screed off excess.
Do not use a pencil vibrator as it will cause the panels face to crack.