We are still in search of the ideal material to build Selva Suites. In this earlier post, I discussed the Convitec material. While Convitec might be economical with some thermal and sound insulating properties, we are concerned about its stability, strength, and durability. I read in some forums of some people who had the unfortunate experience of mice or critters getting within the walls, under the stucco, eating away the material. In some cases, it was attributed to bad workmanship. However, what would be the long-term maintenance to keep this hermetically closed, so that critters do not get it? This is a concern.
An alternative that we are considering is a relatively new technology of synthetic cement blocks. These type of cement blocks were initially created by mixing concrete with ashes, creating air bubbles within the block. However, the challenge with this is that the recipe must be very accurate to produce a good and consistent-quality result. The technology evolved and new formulas which appear to be more stable producing a more consistent result. Every country and cement producing company markets the same material under a different brand name. In Mexico, there are two companies Aircrete and Hebel.
The material they sell has some amazing results and properties. The Aircrete and Hebel blocks are very light compared to regular cement blocks. It is easier and cheaper to transport. It appears to be easier and faster to install than regular cement blocks. Because of the air bubbles within the block, it provides extreme thermal and sound insulation. It is hard and solid, yet it can be cut easily even with a regular manual saw and it is extremely easy with an automated saw to cut through the lines for water and power. The installation videos available on YouTube appear simple. The material can withstand to be exposed to a continuous fire of four hours!!
We have requested more information and quotes from these companies. We hope the price is going to be appropriate for our budget and comparable to regular cement blocks.