The nature of the main ingredients found in GFRC is one reason why it is a desirable building material from an ecological standpoint. GFRC is composed of the abundant and naturally-occurring minerals used to manufacture both cement and glass fibers. Since these materials are natural, they are not normally regarded as pollutants. Glass fiber reinforced concrete is an inert, mineral-based material that is highly stable.
The benefits of GFRC are perhaps best illustrated by comparing it to traditional precast concrete. While GFRC (glass fiber reinforced concrete) is relatively thin and is strengthened with glass fibers, traditional precast is thick, heavy and is often reinforced with steel.
The comparatively light weight of Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete offers several environmental and practical benefits.
- Transportation costs are reduced along with the pollution from transport.
- Producing GFRC involves the use of less cement and less energy, which can help cut emissions.
- Glass fiber reinforced concrete has a long life span because it is so durable, which helps avoid the need for replacement and reduces waste.
- The light weight of GFRC reduces the structure required to support it and so saves material.
It is worth mentioning that independent studies have also supported the notion that GFRC is ecologically friendly. The Government of the United Kingdom’s DETR/Concrete Industry Alliance Partners in Technology project conducted a study that compared GFRC and precast concrete products that both performed the same function. Their results showed that Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete had a 60% lower environmental impact than traditional precast concrete. Clearly, GFRC is an environmentally-responsible choice when it comes to construction materials, and it’s likely its use will increase in the years to come.