GFRC Primer: Why GFRC? Where/When to Use It? How Does It Install?

Glass Fiber Reinforced Concrete commonly called GFRC is light weight concrete that simulates either cast stone or architectural precast. The product can be designed to visually look the same as other cementitious products. The product is easily colored to match the color palette of the project.


Why GFRC?

 

  1. Much lighter – at least 50% less weight compared to other masonry products
  2. High strength to weight ratio – cost effective for higher elevation applications
  3. Much less expensive to install
  4. Less building structure needed
  5. Less erection equipment and yard management
  6. Much more durable compared to other exterior products such as stucco or EIFS
  7. With AAS technology and manufacturing process, GFRC can be combined with other materials such as cast stone, architectural precast or natural limestone for seamless design effects. Ability to create any custom color and finish required for the design.
  8. Manufacturing and customization at one of the AAS plants, as opposed to building the product at construction site that some other products require.
  9. Customize panel shapes and installation support based on architectural design and structural needs.
  10. Pre-engineered, built-in connections simplify installation, open up design options.

Where/When Do Use GFRC?

 

The product is about 50% of the weight of traditional cement based products and light weight is the primary driver for its use.

GFRC is often used:

  • On structures where the core building structure cannot carry the weight of other cement based products.
  • At or near the top of a structure where structural support may be insufficient for cast stone or precast.
  • Where the design of a given piece (column capital, etc.) is complex and larger pieces ease installation.
  • Where installation costs are an important consideration.
  • Where skilled craftsmen are in short supply.
  • On renovation and restoration projects.
  • Where rigging and installation equipment is restricted.
  • Interior applications, breezeways and transitional areas between indoor and outdoor spaces.

Product Life Cycle

 

The GFRC product has a Standard Architectural Specification under 03490. The specification requires a product that will perform structurally and comparably to other masonry products. As with all masonry products absorption, tensile strength, wind shear, and hardness (PSI) are all covered by its specification to provide product performance comparable to the longevity of masonry products in general.

Architectural GFRC: Typical mold with release coating for smooth surface

AAS Architectural GFRC: Typical mold with release coating for smooth surface

Architectural GFRC: Picture Shows Face Coat which may Look Like Cast Stone or Architectural Precast

Architectural GFRC: Picture Shows Face Coat which may Look Like Cast Stone or Architectural Precast

Engineering, Installation Design Built into GFRC Panels - Picture shows a Metal Stud Backup for Attachment with a Welded Anchor Plate

Engineering, Installation Design Built into GFRC Panels – Picture shows a Metal Stud Backup for Attachment with a Welded Anchor Plate

Simplified Structure, Installation with GFRC - Direct Attachment to Metal Studs - No masonry grout and Mortar Used, Larger Size Pieces Lower Installation Costs

Simplified Structure, Installation with GFRC – Direct Attachment to Metal Studs – No masonry grout and Mortar Used, Larger Size Pieces Lower Installation Costs


GFRC Panels with Pre-engineered Built-in Connections Provide Design Flexibiliity and Much Simpler Construction

GFRC Panels with Pre-engineered Built-in Connections Provide Design Flexibiliity and Simplify Construction | Video >>