From big wheels to big blocks

Sammy Liuson is known as the "Godfather " of the Aftermarket Mafi a in the local car industry. He is credited with pimping Filipino cars in large wheels and tires as well as fashionable trappings of mobility. His recent foray into the real estate industry has the markings of his highly successful business in the aftermarket industry.

Builders and constructors are going to see a transformation in the Real Estate industry with an innovative product set to redefine the construction business. Known as Autoclaved Aerated Concrete or AAC, this revolutionary product is a unique and excellent type of building material. AAC is produced using common materials such as lime, sand, cement and water, and a small amount of rising agent. After mixing and molding, it is then autoclaved under heat and pressure to create its unique properties.

Liuson has carved a reputation in the domestic aftermarket industry by introducing large size wheels for SUVs like his Black Rhino brand.

Starken Philippines, the local subsidiary of Starken AAC Malaysia, recently hosted a private gathering of select media and known personalities in the construction and real estate sectors to introduce the AAC lightweight blocks. "This will usher in change and convenience in the industry," says Liuson, President and CEO of Starken Philippines.

Aerated Autoclaved Concrete (AAC) products are becoming the preferred building products for constructing residential, hotel, industrial and public building because of its natural composition and non-toxic properties, energy saving qualities and have been proven to be eco-friendly. AAC products possess the durability characteristics similar to normal concrete or stone, yet with the workability better than wood." A lightweight concrete block is a concrete masonry unit (CMU) made of expanded aggregate to reduce the density and weight compared to standard concrete block. Weights vary significantly, but are less than when denser aggregates are used. For masons laying block, back injuries commonly represent half of the cost of workers' compensation, and with AAC, we lessen the risk of worker's injury," adds Joey Carlos, VP for Operations of Starken PH as he demonstrated on stage the convenience and durability of the AAC lightweight block.

According to Asbar Sanusi, Senior technical Manager of Starken Malaysia, builders worldwide have began choosing this modern building material because it is 70 percent lighter than concrete; it is fire resistant; has upgraded thermal and sound insulation; good workability process; impact resistant; speedy and less complicated application and is proven to be durable. "AAC block entrains air/gas in the concrete and produces a much lighter block (variable density 1/2 to 2/3 weight reduction compared to standard concrete). AAC block is most commonly used for interior walls and structures of two stories or less. This may also be used in large panels, and has improved insulating characteristics," adds Sanusi.

From left: Sam Liuson, President and CEO of Starken Ph; Joey Carlos, VP for Operations, Starken Ph; Ng Wai Luen, CEO of Starken AAC Sdn Bhd.; Chua Swee Hock, GM for International Business and Asbar Sanusi, Senior Technical Manager for Starken AAC Sdn Bhd.

Unlike the conventional cement block, an AAC block is easy to use and is less messy. With the aid of special tools developed by Starken, an AAC block is laid down with a thin bed of adhesive specially formulated and recommended for bonding the AAC blocks, panels and lintels. This adhesive was developed and underwent stringent testing, assuring the optimum performance once assembly is completed. "We have been using this technology for years now in modern buildings, residential units and housing complexes around Asia," he explains.

Starken AAC blocks is currently being used in the construction of Wheel Gallery's new wing, a popular destination for automotive tuners in San Juan City. 

According to Liuson, compared to using conventional construction materials, building time has been cut in half. Orders for this revolutionary material has also been fast tracked since its launching early this month. "Finally, Starken AAC blocks (TUV Certified) that has been widely used in European, Hong Kong, Singaporean and Malaysian skyscrapers are now available locally. Once the architects and contractors try this out, they will wonder why we only have this now. Starken AAC blocks are faster, stronger, cleaner and greener," Liuson says.

Autoclaved lightweight concrete was invented in the mid- 1920s by the Swedish architect and inventor Johan Axel Eriksson. It is a lightweight, precast building material that simultaneously provides structure, insulation, and fire and mold resistance.

Topics: big wheels , big blocks , Starken Philippines , AAC lightweight blocks

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