- Project plans
- Project activities
- Legislation and standards
- Industry context
Last edited 12 Feb 2019
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.
 Find out more
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
Featured articles and news
And the award winners for 2019 are...
Articles of agreement
Guidance for local authorities and consultancies setting planning conditions.
A real deal – at last?
How does anastylosis help in the reconstructing of ancient monuments?
More than just aesthetic and historic values and meanings.
An exciting and novel collaboration between the RIBA and the SPAB.
Republic of Ireland updates to planning and development.
The different types of pile foundation.
Achieving a net-zero carbon UK by 2050.
Responding to an invitation to tender.