Archie Sellew, owner of South Pointe Development, built this autoclaved aerated concrete (AAC) home for himself in 2001. The AAC manufacturer was Hebel in Adel, Ga., which no longer makes AAC. Sellew is so impressed by AAC as a building material that he has convinced others in his area to build homes with it. “I take a lot of comfort knowing I am sitting in a house that I don't have to worry about when a big storm is on the way. And it can't rot or get infested by termites, either, very important in this humid environment.”

Sellew is also impressed by the energy savings. “My wife keeps this place like a meat locker,” he says, “but my electric bill for this 5000-square-foot house has never been higher than $160 a month, even in the hottest part of the summer.”

He also enjoyed the construction process. “There's no bracing needed as you build up the walls—which saves a lot of lumber that's normally thrown away. The whole structure is stable and strong, with a bond beam at each floor level and at the roof level.” Even window and door lintels are made from reinforced AAC, although interior walls are stick built. “The lintels come pre-engineered from the factory,” said Sellew. “We just had to tell them the span and the load and they placed the steel prior to casting the lintels.”

One last advantage that Sellew particularly appreciates is that an AAC room below grade makes a good environment for a wine cellar. “It maintains a constant temperature and humidity—perfect conditions for the wine.”