Hebel block can be cut with standard woodworking tools, such as a bandsaw. This saw was rented from Hebel.
Masons are accustomed to speedy work with block, but working with aerated autoclaved concrete (AAC) can be slow going. You need special trowels and mortar, and AAC requires precise drilling for the threaded rod that connects the foundation with the top plate.
Hebel makes its ACC blocks from a mix of cement, lime, sand, gypsum, water and an expanding agent. It's hardened in a mold and then steam-cured under pressure. One thing masons will like is the weight--far less than typical concrete blocks. Although the material is available in different densities and sizes, the block we used measures 8 in. by 8 in. by 24 in. and weighs 28 lb. It can be cut with a handsaw, but we rented a bandsaw from Hebel that made cutting the block easy.
Although a masonry crew's first experience with the material can be discouraging, paying well helps. We pay $4.50 per block. This rate compares with $1.50 per standard concrete-masonry unit. Hebel block isn't cheap to buy, either. Blocks come to about $4.50 each with shipping. The Pearsons' AAC walls cost about $9,000. Although this amount is more than typical construction, finishing costs were lower. The exterior gets a single coat of stucco, and interior walls a single coat of a soft, high-gypsum-content plaster. These factors made AAC affordable for the first floor of the Pearson house. Costs are higher for scaffolding work, so we didn't use Hebel block in the gable ends.