Enhancing Sustainability of Low to Medium-Rise Reinforced  Concrete Frame Buildings in the UK


In low-to-medium-rise RC frame buildings, to sustain gravity and lateral loads, mostly, two main load-bearing systems are used; moment-resisting (sway) and moment-resisting with shear walls. In the UK, the use of shear walls has now become an expansive technique in these types of RC frame building, as indicated by The Concrete Centre. Furthermore, considering the structural behaviour and performance of shear walls in low-to-medium-rise RC frame buildings, in the areas with low risk of seismic load they may negatively affect the economic and environmental efficiency of the construction without any substantial improvement to the structural performance of the building. In this study, several steps will be undertaken to enhance the sustainability of construction in RC frame buildings, including the possibility of removing shear walls in low-to-medium-rise buildings which can directly influence the consumption of aggregates (as natural resources) and cement in concrete and speed up the construction process. Reducing the amount of concrete in the construction of RC frames may be a feasible option that would have a significant effect on the reduction of CO2 emissions from the construction industry. The results indicate that, considering the practical side of the design, it is advisable to design the buildings up to 12 storeys using moment-resisting frame with flat slab. Furthermore, with reduction in consumed concrete more than 12% in moment-resisting frames compared to the frame with shear walls. Furthermore, according to the outcome of this research and in collaboration with the Concrete Centre a design guide is developed for the use and implementation of moment-resisting frames in the UK construction industry.  


Moment-resisting, shear wall, sustainability, CO2 emission, displacement, punching shear

How to Cite

Keihani, R., Tohidi, M., Janbey, A. & Bahadori-Jahromi, A., (2023) “Enhancing Sustainability of Low to Medium-Rise Reinforced Concrete Frame Buildings in the UK”, Engineering Future Sustainability 1(1). doi: https://doi.org/10.36828/efs.216


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Reza Keihani (at the University of West London)
Mosleh Tohidi (the University of West London)
Alan Janbey (London College, UCK)
Ali Bahadori-Jahromi orcid logo (University of West London)





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This article has been peer reviewed.

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