Concrete blocks have been a basic building material for hundreds of years. But those gray building blocks of yesteryear have now evolved into a wide variety of sizes, shapes, colors and textures. The result is a highly functional and beautiful building material that is gaining popularity with architects, engineers, contractors and others worldwide. Today's multi-colored, multi-textured concrete products give designers the artistic flexibility to create strikingly beautiful homes, multi-family residences, office buildings, warehouses, municipal buildings, manufacturing facilities, correctional facilities, learning institutions, hospitals and much more. If there is a type of building out there today, you can build it with concrete masonry.
One of the most significant architectural benefits of designing with concrete masonry is its versatility – the finished appearance of a concrete masonry wall can be varied with the unit size and shape, color of units and mortar, bond pattern, and surface finish of the units. The term "architectural concrete masonry units" typically is used to describe units displaying any one of several surface finishes that affects the texture of the unit, many times allowing the structural wall and finished surface to be installed in a single step.
Architectural concrete masonry units are used for interior and exterior walls, partitions, terrace walls, and other enclosures. Some units are available with the same treatment or pattern on both faces, to serve as both exterior and interior finish wall material, increasing both the economic and aesthetic advantages. Architectural units comply with the same quality standards as conventional concrete masonry, Standard Specification for Loadbearing Concrete Masonry Units, ASTM C 90