Hollow Concrete Block began its use around 1870 when wooden moulds were developed to produce blocks from a fairly dry mixture of sand cement and water. Around 1900, the first cast iron block producing machine was patented and a decade later there were more than 1000 producers of concrete block.
Today, concrete blocks are used as both structural and architectural building materials in Alberta. Structural block such as the single wythe block wall seen in hundreds of warehouses and commercial retail units across the province can provide both the structure and architectural look of the building.
Architectural block includes split face, burnished and ribbed and comes in a variety of colors. Glass block is also a form of block used in construction.