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Concrete being plastic material in fresh state, is kept in a
moulds till it gain reasonable strength, this temporary
structure is called Formwork.
It is closed from all sides and can carry the hydrostatic load
of fluid concrete, additional load due to vibration, and load
of men and machinery.
Formwork should be such that it can be easily removed after
hardening of concrete.
Timber, plywood panels or steel sheets are used for
formwork. The initial cost of steel forms may be high but
they can be repeatedly used for a number of times.

Shuttering is a temporary platform constructed with the help
of wooden planks, wooden logs, steel rods or bamboos over
which formwork is supported and ultimately pouring of
concrete is done.

Scaffolding is a grid of bamboos, wooden planks or circular
steel pipes by which labour can have access to any point of
the structure to be constructed and further formwork and
shuttering can rest over it .
Steel scaffolding is most commonly used as it is easy to
dismantle and reassemble.

Shoring is the temporary support given to the existing
structure for repair purposes. When dismantling any central
building, the surrounding building is also temporarily

Basic Requirements of a Good

Formwork must be strong enough.
Formwork should be smooth to get a smooth surface
of the required member.
Formwork should be true.
Formwork should be such that it can easily be
removed without damaging the surface.
Deflections is the most important considerations.
Formwork must be water tight.
Formwork should be as economical as possible.

Formwork Cost
Cost of Formwork for RCC
The exact proportions of cost are, however, affected be the
following factors:

The simplicity or complexity of the structure.

The availability of the repeated formwork.
The specified surface appearance of the concrete.

Formwork Cost
Cost of Formwork for Building Structures
Formwork cost is a major part of the total cost and normally
varies from 30% to 65% for building works; however, for
complicated works or with special surface finishes such as
helical stair cases or for the construction of minars, it may
increase up to as much as 80%.

Formwork Cost
Cost of Formwork for Huge C.E. Works
The cost of formwork varies from 5% to 25% of the total
cost for bridges, highway, and dam construction, etc.
Such jobs are bigger in magnitude and again lot of money is
required for formwork necessitating careful design.

Wooden Formwork for R.C.C.

It includes sheathing, studs, wales, ties and braces.
Sheathing is the layer which constitutes the inner surface of
the form and is immediately in contact with the concrete.
If solid timber is used for sheathing, it may be 1", 11/4", 11/2",
2" thick, the opposite sides of the wall form are held in
correct positions by steel form ties, which resist the lateral
pressure of the concrete and serve as spacers to govern
width of the space between the forms.

Wooden Formwork for R.C.C.

The form ties usually have a safe working strength of 3000
Sheathing is supported by closely spaced vertical timber
studs which are further supported by the horizontal wales.
The sizes of studs and wales may be 2" x 4", 2" x 6", 3" x 4",
3" x 6" and 4" x 4", etc.
Steel ties are fixed with the help of ties clamps to the wales
and these are cut to remove the formwork when concrete is
The form, as a whole, is stabilized by inclined braces
consisting of wooden battens or bamboos etc. Braces are
held rigidly in position by cleats on the form and by properly
driven stacks at the ground.


2- 2x 4

2x 4x 10- 0 stud

3/4 plywood sheathing


2x 4 x 10- 0
brace @ 6- 0

Concrete Footing
2x 4 sill

2x 4x 3- 0
Stake @ 6- 0

Section through the Wall

Side Elevation

Pressure on the Formwork


Maximum pressure of fresh concrete on the formwork is

mainly influenced by the following factors.
Rate of pouring of concrete which is generally 4 to 5 ft per
Temperature of concrete. If temperature is lower, the
concrete will remain in fluid form for longer time.
Workability of concrete. Workable concrete will have more
fluidity and hence will exert more pressure.
Thickness of concrete wall. Pressure will be lower in thin
walls because of the arching action in the cross-section.
Vibration of concrete.

Floor Slab Formwork or Deck



Following points are important for deck formwork.

It should be properly designed to withstand the imposed
Loads are taken directly by plywood/ steel/solid timber
soffit sheathing. The sheathing and joists (secondary
beams) must be water tight to prevent any leakage or
Normally the size of panels used for sheathing is 8 x 4 in.
and these are placed side by side.
Plywood sheathing, if used, is normally thick otherwise
thick commercial wooden planks may be used for the deck

Floor Slab Formwork or Deck




Soffit sheathing is supported by timber-joists (secondary

beams), which are further supported by more widely
spaced joists (main beams) at right angles to the secondary
beams. Main beams transfer load to adjustable metal props
and then the load is carried to the foundation.
It may be designed for a particular surface-finish if
Double system of joists allows the vertical props to be
spaced at reasonable distance in-between to carry full load
but, at the same time, to permit the movement of men and
machinery in-between.
Lateral and diagonal bracing of props may be provided for
stability, which prevent side sway.

Formwork for Beam & Slab


Formwork for Columns

This type of form-work consists of two end and two side
planks built in one unit or panel.
The height of each panel is built equal to the storey height
less slab thickness and the floor sheeting.
The two end planks are built in width equal to the
dimensions of the column plus twice thickness of the
sheeting. The width of the sheeting will be same as the
dimension of the column.
The yokes will project 20 to 25 cm beyond the sheeting at
each end as shown in fig. The spacing of the yokes will be
same on both the sides. Bolt holes are created in the side
yokes, about 3 mm larger than the size of the bolt, for
passing and tightening the bolts easily.

Formwork failures
Generally some unexpected event causes one member to fail,
then others become overloaded or misaligned and the entire
formwork structure collapses.

Raft foundation formwork

Raft foundation formwork


Some of the commonly used types are explained
1- Bill of Quantities Contract.
This type of contract which includes a BOQ (bill
of quantities) priced by the contractor is the most
commonly used form of contract for civil
engineering works.

This type of contract is also known as Item
rate contract. Bill of quantities greatly assists in
keeping the tender cost as low as possible because
there is maximum competition among the


2- Scheduled Contract
In this type of contract the client refers to a
schedule of unit rates covering each item of work
and ask the contractors, when tendering, to quote a
percentage above or below the given scheduled

when it is above, it is called premium

and when below, it is called rebate or discount)
When a contract includes both scheduled and nonscheduled items then the contractors are asked to
quote an overall premium on the total cost of
scheduled items but, as regards the non-scheduled
items are concerned, the contractor will mention the
item-rates and no extra premium would be

3- Lump Sum Contract

In a Lump Sum Contract, the contractor undertakes to execute
certain specified works for a fixed amount of money.

 The nature and extent of the work are normally indicated on

 The nature of materials and workmanship are described in
But no BOQ is provided.

4- Labour Contract

This is a contract where labour is provided by the

contractor but all the materials are supplied by the client.

It is suitable for those cases where an employer is in a

position to buy large quantities of materials at favourable

The advantage is that the speed of work will be increased

but, at
the same time, there will be more wastage of
Labour rates for the scheduled items are also given in the


5- Cost Plus Percentage Contract

In the cost plus percentage contract, the accounts are

maintained by the contractors showing the actual
expenditure on
the work.

This is supported by proper receipts and invoices (bills,
cash memos,

The profit of the contractor is decided as a negotiated
which may vary from 10 to 25% of the
actual cost of contract.

6- Cost Plus Fixed Profit Contract

This is similar to the previous type of contract with the
difference that the amount of profit is fixed and will not vary
with increase or decrease of actual cost of the work. Proper
maintenance of accounts by the contractor is must. However,
in this category, the contractor will try to complete the work
as early as possible.
Cost plus percentage and cost plus fixed profit contractors are
together called Reimbursement contracts.

7- Package Deal Contract

If a contracting firm is well-reputed and provides both

design and construction facilities, the project as a whole may
be awarded to this firm; the agreement become a Package
Deal Contract.

Special type of buildings such as hotels, picture houses,

shopping plazas, etc., may be built on the basis of package
deal contract. However, the success of such a contract mostly
depends upon the reputation and understanding of the firm
with the client.

8- Serial Contract

If a contractor is already working on certain contracts at

a construction site and later on more works are planned on the
same site, these works may be awarded to the same

Generally at the same rates, depending upon his previous
performance. This becomes a serial contract