- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 24 Apr 2018
Glass reinforced concrete
Glass reinforced concrete (GRC), or glass-fibre reinforced concrete (GFRC), is a construction material that is commonly used to form exterior cladding panels. It has grown in popularity with architects and engineers because of its ability to be formed into virtually any size, shape or profile (such as the Heydar Aliyev Center pictured above).
GRC is composed from high-strength, alkali-resistant glass fibres embedded in a concrete matrix. The fibres act as the principal load-carrying component, while the surrounding matrix keeps them in position, and transfers load between the fibres. Both fibres and matrix are capable of retaining their physical and chemical identities, while combining their properties to create a high-performance composite.
GRC is typically manufactured in thin sections, by machine-spraying an enriched ordinary Portland cement and aggregate mix with glass fibres dispersed throughout. These fibres serve a similar purpose to steel rebar in reinforced concrete, but are not susceptible to rust.
GRC panels are often used as a lightweight cladding system, and can be made to look almost identical to natural stone. Installation is easier and more cost-effective due to the lower weight of the panels, which is approximately 80% lighter than pre-cast steel reinforced concrete cladding. This enhances the energy efficiency of GRC , and it is capable of achieving a BREEAM A+ material rating.
Panel moulds can be created to replicate complex profiles. The panels are generally take a ribbed or sandwich form, and offer good durability, fire resistance, weather resistance, and sound insulation properties.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
Featured articles and news
Book review: The vertebrate architecture of one of the most important practices of the 20th century.
Matt Rhodes, Quiss Technology, explains how an increasing number are falling victim to sophisticated cyber-attacks.
Assembly drawings represent items that consist of more than one component and show how they fit together.
Is the water sector under too much pressure from the regulator?
Everything you need to know about acoustics in under 800 words.
Check out our list of the 90 most unusual buildings of all time.
The government is to set a personal consumption target to reduce water use.
BSRIA calls for more education to promote fuels that are fit to burn.
Michael Gove admits air pollution is making people ill and shortening lives.
BRE call for a clearer, focused drive for the delivery of sustainable, quality developments.
Proposals for a 140m high observation wheel next to the Tyne.