Fibre glass reinforced architectural concrete for the new Kaiser Hof building in Cologne, Germany

Façades made from free-formed prefabricated elements

Curtain façade elements have, for some years now, been increasingly employed as shells for building structures. This construction method requires the thinnest and lightest free-formed façade elements possible so that classic reinforced concrete cannot be utilised due to the minimum concrete covering needed. By way of contrast, non-steel reinforced concretes, such as short fibre and textile concretes, offer great potential for application in this case. These new construction materials are generally composed of non-corrosive materials, meaning that a classic minimum concrete covering is not necessary and that filigree concrete structures with a great degree of lightweight materials can be implemented. Short fibres, textile meshes or rods made from alkali resistant glass or carbon can be utilised as alternative reinforcing systems.

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