Heavy use of electric power has become essential for cooling purposes and comfort inside buildings in the Gulf area where outdoor temperatures in summer can reach up to 60 °C. The use of insulating materials is not popular, despite their long-term financial benefit, due to the fact that installation of such materials is expensive and requires skilled labour. With the absence of obligatory legislation in most countries in the region with regard to the use of material with high thermal resistance in construction, development of simply handled concrete blocks with high thermal insulation properties becomes a necessity. Description of the current systems used in construction to produce masonry walls with high thermal insulation properties is presented in this paper. Research concerned with the development of lightweight concrete (LWC) blocks for thermal insulation either by using different hole arrangements or by using indigenous and by-product materials is reviewed. The research currently conducted by the authors to develop lightweight concrete blocks for thermal insulation is briefly highlighted.
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