Environmental optimization of precast concrete beams using fibre reinforced polymers

R.R.L. van Loon, E. Pujadas (Corresponding author), Faas Moonen, Rijk Blok

Onderzoeksoutput: Bijdrage aan tijdschriftTijdschriftartikelAcademicpeer review

5 Citaten (Scopus)
65 Downloads (Pure)


Increasing importance is being attached to materials in the life-cycle of a building. In the Netherlands, material life-cycle assessments (LCA) are now mandatory for almost all new buildings, on which basis the building is then awarded a building environmental performance or MPG [Milieuprestatie Gebouwen] score. The objective of this study is to reduce the environmental-economic (shadow) costs of precast reinforced concrete (RC) beams in a conventional Dutch office building, thereby improving its MPG score. Two main optimizations are introduced: first, the amount of concrete is reduced, designing a cavity in the cross-section of the beam; second, part of the reinforcement is replaced with a fibre reinforced polymer (FRP) tube. The structural calculations draw from a combination of several codes and FRP recommendations. Hollow FRP-RC beams (with an elongated oval cavity), and flax, glass, and kenaf fibre tubes yielded the lowest shadow costs. In particular, the flax tube obtained shadow costs that were 39% lower than those of the hollow RC beam (with an elongated oval cavity); which also contributed to decreasing the shadow costs of other building components (e.g., facade), thereby reducing the MPG score of the building. However, this study also shows that it is important to select the right type of FRP as hemp fibre tubes resulted in a 98% increase in shadow costs.

Originele taal-2Engels
Pagina's (van-tot)1-12
Nummer van het tijdschrift7
StatusGepubliceerd - 5 apr 2019


  • prefabricated precast concrete beams
  • cross-sectional design
  • fibre reinforced polymer
  • MPG score
  • shadow cost
  • carbon
  • glass
  • flax fibres
  • kenaf
  • FRP

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