Formwork and Its Pivotal Role in Reducing Construction Costs

Reducing Construction Costs with Formwork

Construction is done every year on bridges, lines, and other steel forms for safety, improvements, and modifications. Construction costs can be phenomenally high and can increase every year. These costs have caused a need for a pivotal role change in how things in construction are done to decrease the costs. Today these costs can be decreased by changes in the designs, procedures, supplies, and a decrease in the amount of necessary labor.

Formwork Costs


Formwork is the materials and labor working with molds. Best Steel Formwork can be temporary or permanent molding with concrete that is cost-effective. Labor is the more expensive cost, therefore, obtaining a fast-paced construction can keep reducing the cost. There are ways to design construction for cost savings, but it must be kept simple and not slow the production rate while keeping costs down even if the concrete is rounded or contoured.

Initial Concrete Design

Bidding and construction of the designs of floors columns and walls can also reduce costs. Flat slab or constant soffit is the most economical, has fewer interruptions, and is the simplest to assemble and remove. Optimum designs with dropheads increase the reinforcement shearheads in the floor slabs and formworks are also affected by the drainage slope. If the drainage slope is on the top surface and maintains the constant soffit elevation it is the most cost-effective. This is because the content on the surface of the slope costs less than two or one-way construction costs. An increase in the concrete strength can reinforce the ability to maintain higher loads at lower levels. This can make for the size of the columns to not need increase and the need for the amount of concrete to also not need an increase.

Initial Concrete Design

Large ganged column formwork is used to provide multiple pours or multiple levels. This consistency in the building grid of the framework allows cutting and fitting to lower labor costs and increase construction costs. Wall reinforcements can allow the elimination of pilasters and lower costs by using straight wall formwork. However, if they cannot be eliminated, they can still be used to lower costs by using the uniform size and grid spacing to increase the reuse factor, productivity. Concrete wall openings will add to the formwork costs, but reduce the need for small openings and achieve uniform size for a better formwork system.

New Formwork Materials

There are newer panel forms systems to be used for speed construction and reducing costs. This is accomplished by using a clamping mechanism to replace the bolts, which allows fastening, aligning, and tightening to the concrete walls easily with a hammer. Aluminum panel forms can be used on concrete floors for high productivity and be completed by one man, which the one man allows a reduction in labor costs. Horizontal panels are made to be dismantled easily while holding their load and concrete is placed.  This makes for quicker installation.


Formwork, concrete, and new materials are changing to keep up with the need for faster turnarounds and fewer labor expenses. Formwork cost can be held to a minimum if it is customized or if it needs to be made reusable such as dismantled. It can be made to be in the form of being able to remove or repositioned, again the costs are kept low and limits are put on the damage. There should be a minimum established for shrinkage and swelling, it should have a uniform surface, and be lightweight to save on costs and the time necessary for construction.

Vera Watson

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