Member Alert - Glass Reinforced Polymer Reinforcement

AIBS is aware that an increasing number of Australian suppliers have been actively promoting glass fibre reinforced polymer rods as tensile reinforcement for reinforced concrete structures. There are particular design challenges that are relevant to this approach to concrete design that demand careful attention at the approval stage as well as during construction.

AIBS is not aware of a Deemed-To-Satisfy design approach for glass fibre polymer reinforcement in concrete structural elements. Members are advised to ensure that design documents provided by professional engineers or others are reviewed and where glass fibre polymer reinforcement is specified, there should also be a performance solution with appropriate evidence of suitability provided with the design.

In jurisdictions where the structural design document can, pursuant to legislation, be accepted without further review with certification from a properly qualified design practitioner, members are advised to take particular care not to accept design documents irrespective of any attestations from the designer where a performance solution is not also provided.

We note also that a performance solution must be prepared in accordance with NCC BCA Clause A2.2(4) which requires stakeholder engagement in the development of a performance-based design brief and that there must be agreement with the statutory building surveyor that the ‘final report’ demonstrates that the performance requirement has been met. If you have not been involved in this process, you will need to ensure that another building surveyor has properly performed this function to your satisfaction before accepting the performance solution.

AIBS supports the use of innovative products and materials to overcome design challenges and improve built outcomes and we look forward to the production of information that will allow for improved pathways of acceptance for concrete that is reinforced with glass fibre polymer products.

Should members have any concerns arising from this advice, please let us know. Members may also need to seek independent legal advice or the advice of a subject matter expert in relation to any project for which they are engaged or considering engaging with where such products are proposed to be used.