GRC façade elements supplied and installed on the highest timber building in the Netherlands

The tallest hybrid timber building in the Netherlands is under construction. Instead of a traditional wooden façade finish; Team V Architects and Arup opted for a contrasting finish in glass-fibre reinforced concrete from Concrete Valley. These GRC elements are ultra thin, durable, low-maintenance and have a long lifespan. Moreover, we can achieve shapes that are geometrically very difficult to manufacture giving the architects real freedom to design!

The tallest hybrid residential tower

HAUT will be the tallest hybrid timber building in the Netherlands and one of the tallest timber construction projects in the world. The 73-metre-high residential tower is under construction at the Amstel river. Constructing with timber, concrete and steel make this project a true ‘hybrid’ building. In total, 2,800 m3 of timber will be used for the residential tower, which will store 2,500 tonnes of CO2. This is equivalent to the annual emissions of about 400 households.

2,600m1 of façade elements

“It is very special that the architect has deliberately chosen a façade finish in glass-fibre reinforced concrete,” says Bjorn van Overveld, director of mbX. According to him, the architect is charmed by the material and the endless possibilities. We have developed a specific GRC mixture composition that is comparable to high-performance concrete in terms of strength. The mixture is very homogenous and dense in structure so that no pores or air bubbles are visible on the surface after the casting. This feature also ensures the elements are low maintenance.

mbX GRC facade products do not depend on traditional steel reinforcement, we can produce extremely thin (resource-poor) elements in thicknesses from 20 mm. Because of the long length test of 3.5 m1 per element, the elements for HAUT are produced in a thickness of 30 millimetres and poured in a mould with a wave pattern. The horizontal glass fibre reinforced edge and facade elements will soon be supplied and installed on all 21 floors of the residential tower. In total, there are 2,600 m1 elements. We are responsible for the complete scope from the engineering of the elements and the development of the special suspension construction to the production and assembly.

Producing company

mbX, is a subsidiary of Concrete Valley incorporated in 2014. Specialising in glass fibre reinforced concrete, and the manufacturer of our bespoke range of glass fibre reinforced facade elements.
By using unique concrete mixes, smart engineering and flexible moulds, mbX make geometrically complex shapes in concrete possible. Comparable projects of mbX are Farringdon station in England. Arnhem Central Station was mbX’s very first project in The Netherlands.