Taiwan develops Reinforced Concrete allowing height of buildings to double

New method could lead to higher buildings but also more green space

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The National Center for Research on Earthquake Engineering (screenshot from www.ncree.org)

The National Center for Research on Earthquake Engineering (screenshot from www.ncree.org)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – Taiwanese researchers have developed a new type of Reinforced Concrete (RC) structure which will allow residential buildings to almost double their height.

Japan is the only other country that has reached similar results with a new type of concrete, the Central News Agency reported.

The National Center for Research on Earthquake Engineering at NARLabs found that the new material was between 1.6 and 2.4 stronger than traditional RC.

The maximum height for current RC apartment buildings was about 27 floors because of the relative strength of the material, poor soundproofing and the need for large pillars, researchers said. Those problems offset the advantages of low cost, positive soundproofing and fire resistance, they added.

Japan had already used a new type of RC to build a 59-story apartment block, while Taiwan had started developing its “New RC” in 2009, leading to this year’s breakthrough, CNA reported.

The separate manufacturing of the elements and their transportation to the site could reduce working time from two weeks to one, while the new structures would be more earthquake-resistant, researchers said at a news conference Tuesday (April 23).

The construction industry reportedly hoped the government could subsidize the introduction of the new RC, because it might send costs rising by 10 percent.

Supporters of the new material said it would lead to higher residential buildings, which might save more space to devote to other uses, such as parks, CNA reported.