Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete: Is it Cost-Effective? - Pinoy Builders

Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete: Is it Cost-Effective?

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Glass fiber reinforced concrete (GFRC) is a composite material that is stronger and more lightweight than normal concrete. This material has unique benefits which open many great possibilities for the construction industry. But the question is, is it a cost-effective material that can be used on a massive scale?

In this article, we will talk about what GFRC is, its advantages, and its disadvantages to find out if it is sustainable and cost-effective.

What is Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete?


GFRC is a type of concrete that has high-strength fiberglass in the mix. Adding glass fibers to concrete improves its strength, durability, versatility, and flexibility. This material is 75% lighter and has two – four times more flexural strength compared to regular concrete.


With its flexible, versatile, and durable nature, designers can use GFRC to recreate different architectural styles. GFRC can be molded into various textures, colors, and finishes. Because of these qualities, GFRC is commonly used to form exterior cladding panels, such as screens, panels, claddings, and other pre-cast structures.


Image from The Constructor


What Are the Advantages of Using Glass Reinforced Concrete?


The advantages of using GFRC are:

• The absence of reinforcement steel makes it more resilient to exposure to salts or moisture.
• Construction firms can save transport costs because of GFRC is 75% lighter.
• The reduced weight allows easy and rapid installation, as well as reducing the load applied to the structure.
• Allows flexibility in design.
• Produces less waste and uses fewer natural resources.
• Has an increased capacity to bear seismic loads.
• Less vulnerable to weather effects than normal concrete.


What are its disadvantages?


Despite having these amazing advantages, GFRC also possesses several disadvantages:

• It is used as a no-load bearing.
• Installation requires a separate anchor system.
• Larger panels need to be reinforced.
• Color additives may fade with sunlight.
• It is more expensive than regular concrete.


Image from Builderzine


Is it Cost-Effective?


Being cost-effective does not mean being low-cost or cheap. What it means is that the product or service offers value in terms of money spent and ROI.


GFRC may cost higher than regular concrete, but its advantages can help save costs and create intangible benefits. Here is a rundown on what makes GFRC a cost-effective material:


  • Quality. GFRC is made to last. It can withstand water, fire, seismic activity, wind, salt, and extreme temperature changes. Because of this, GFRC requires very little maintenance, thus reducing maintenance costs.
  • Versatility. GFRC can be shaped into any form which allows the recreation of historical, futuristic, or any unique designs.
  • Reduced transportation and installation costs. Its lightweight design makes it easier to transport, handle, and install which can help cut labor and logistical costs.
  • Energy savings. Helps maintain a comfortable indoor temperature and reduces reliance for HVAC systems.
    Sustainable and environmentally friendly. GFRC uses less cement than normal concrete and produces lower CO2 emissions during its manufacturing process.


Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete is gaining popularity in the construction industry because of its durability, versatility, lightweight, and design flexibility. This material offers unique advantages that make it cost-effective despite its higher cost compared to regular concrete. With this material, construction professionals and property owners alike will save money while achieving their desired design aesthetic.




  • A. (2022a, March 30). Everything You Need to Know About Fibre Concrete. Concrete Flooring Solutions.
  • A. (2014, January 8). Fiberglass Reinforced Concrete – Uses, Advantages and Disadvantages. Civil Engineers Forum.
  • Bill Palmer, Columnist
  • Updated August 21, 2020. (2022, September 19). GFRC – Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete. Concrete Network.

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