Reinforced concrete structures generally refers to beams, columns and walls which are constituted by complex lattices of steel bars embedded in a concrete matrix, exhibiting multiple cracks due to high external loads. This paper presents the formulation of a numerical model aimed at describing the fracture process in reinforced concrete, from the volumetric ratio of concrete and steel. Crack formation and propagation in a composite material is described in the model by an enhanced strain field, such as that established in the continuum strong discontinuity approach and mixture theory. The composite material is constituted by a concrete matrix and one or two steel bar orthogonal packages. The steel and concrete are represented by a one-dimensional plasticity model and a scalar damage model having different tension and compression strength, respectively. The dowel action and the bond-slip effects between the bars and the matrix are described with additional models relating component material stress and strain. It is concluded that the proposed model can easily be implemented in the finite element method, due to several conventional nonlinear numerical process characteristics which remain. The model would also allow the problem to be analysed at macroscopic scale, thereby avoiding a finite element mesh having to be constructed for each component material and its interaction effects and reducing computational costs.