FAQ

Does Building Blocks have a rep in my area?
The Building Blocks team is spread throughout the Midwest, South, Southeast and Northeast United States. We have at least one project manager within close proximity to most major metropolitan centers and travel frequently to pursue project and partnership opportunities. Contact us and we will be happy to review your project.
Does Building Blocks offer AIA continuing education?
Building Blocks is approved by the American Institute of Architects as a provider of continuing education for practicing architects. Each of our courses is worth one learning unit. We also offer Lunch & Learns for engineers and facade consultants. Read about our courses and request a session here.
What is GFRC?
GFRC is an abbreviation for “glass fiber reinforced concrete.” It is also known as GRC throughout Europe and the Middle East where the British English spelling “glassfibre reinforced concrete” is more common.

 

GFRC is a composite of Portland cement, sand, and polymer with alkali-resistant glass fibers dispersed throughout. Unlike traditional concrete, GFRC is sprayed rather than poured. This process randomizes the glass fibers into an overlapping mesh pattern.

 

The glass fiber mesh functions like the steel in reinforced concrete without the added weight. In fact, glass fibers add so much flexural, tensile and impact strength that much less concrete is used overall. Architectural panels made from GFRC are strong, durable, and lightweight.

How much does GFRC cost?

The cost of GFRC is calculated per square foot and can be supplied for material only or for material and installation.

 

Material costs vary depending on the overall project size, type of wall system used, size and complexity of panels, repetition of forms, and finishes selected. Installation costs are dependent upon average panel size, accessibility to building connection points, availability and size of cranes used, and the cost of labor in a project’s city or region.

What is PCI?
PCI is the Prestressed/Precast Concrete Institute. The organization is both a technical institute and a trade association. They are responsible for certifying the companies and individuals that manufacture and erect precast and prestressed concrete products.

 

Additionally, PCI conducts research with universities and labs nationwide, publishes technical resources, educates stakeholders about precast and prestressed concrete products, and represents the industry in code advocacy activities. It was founded in 1954.

Why is PCI certification important?
PCI certification guarantees that a GFRC product will be of consistent quality and performance. Good GFRC fabrication is dependent on process oversight, operator accuracy, and material control from batch to batch. PCI certified plants adhere to the precise quality control practices established by the institute.

 

To ensure compliance with these best practices, all PCI certified manufacturing facilities receive rigorous quality audits without advance notice two or three times each year. Audits are conducted by independent engineers on behalf of PCI. These third-party audits guarantee that the GFRC from a PCI certified supplier will be of high quality, consistent appearance, and perform as advertised.