Sustainability means meeting the needs of today without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. Sustainable Construction aims to apply this principle to the construction industry by providing ways of buildings that use less virgin material and less energy, cause less pollution and less waste but still provide the benefits that construction projects have brought us throughout history. Sustainability is of increasing importance to the efficient, effective & responsible operation of business. Industrial Revolution is a process of social and economic change for human society to transform from pre-industrial to a new industrial country. Industrialization in construction industry is part of a process in change and improvement management. The degree of industrialization and its characteristics carried out the different understanding in its terminology and definitions. This paper is highlighted the sustainability elements for optimal Industrialized Building System (IBS) formwork system as part of modern method of construction.

1.0 Background of Research Conventional construction is a common practice in Malaysia. It consist reinforced concrete frame and brick, beam, column, wall and roof are cast in situ using timber framework while steel reinforcement is fabricated offsite. This method is labor intensive involving formwork fabrication, steel bending and concreting. It requires many wet trades on site such as skill carpenters, plasterers and brick workers. The process can hamper by quality issue, unfavorable site condition, skilled labor shortage and bad weather conditions.

Formwork comes in three main types; Traditional timber formwork (e.g. insulating concrete forms), Re-usable plastic formwork and Engineered Formwork Systems. The most common practice in Malaysia is traditional formwork system which comprise of timber and plywood or moisture-resistant particleboard. It is easy to produce but time-consuming for larger structures, and the plywood facing has a relatively short lifespan. It is still used extensively where the labor costs are lower than the costs for procuring re-usable formwork. It is also the most flexible type of formwork, so even where other systems are in use, complicated sections may use it. Building and construction activities worldwide consume 3 billion tons of raw materials each year or 40 percent of total global use (Roodman and Lenssen, 1995). Using green building materials and products promotes conservation of dwindling nonrenewable resources internationally. In addition, integrating green building materials into building projects can help reduce the environmental impacts associated with the extraction, transport, processing, fabrication, installation, reuse, recycling, and disposal of these building industry source materials. The Agenda 21 for Sustainable Construction in Developing Countries was launched as a discussion document during the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg in 2002. It defined sustainable development as ³the kind of development that needs to be pursued in order to achieve the state of sustainability. It is a continuous process of maintaining a dynamic balance between the demands of people for equity, prosperity and quality of life which is ecologically possible´.

Industrialized Building System is being acknowledged in many writings as a construction method that has many advantages especially on aspects of construction sustainability. IBS is defined as ³systems that use industrial production techniques either in the production of components or assembly of the building, or both´. The Steel Formwork System, as a type of IBS system in Malaysia promote a safer and more organized construction site, and reduces the completion time of construction. Nowadays, many worldclass Malaysian developers have chosen IBS over the conventional methods for important projects such as the PETRONAS Twin Towers, Putrajaya, KL Sentral and KLIA.

1.1 Problem Statement

Since there are new technologies of IBS formwork system the need to evaluate the sustainability performance is urgent in order to improve its performance according to the sustainable building principles. Many questions rise regarding to IBS formwork system sustainability performance such as:

(i) What are the optimal IBS formwork systems? (ii) What are the fundamentals of sustainability for optimal IBS formwork systems? (iii)How the optimal formwork system can be derived?

1.2 Aim of Research

The aim of this research is to determine the optimal formwork system.

1.3 Objective of the Research The objectives for this case study are stated as follow:

(i) To review the types of formwork system. (ii) To determine the fundamental elements of optimal formwork system. (iii)To determine which formwork systems features are operating optimally.

1.4 Scope of Study The research measured the sustainability elements of optimal IBS formworks system and the respondents from civil background and experienced in formwork systems were approached to take their views, perceptions and suggestions towards the problems. This research will be focusing on comparing three types of formwork system which are engineered formwork, Reusable Plastic Formwork and Insulated Formwork system. Contractors, builders and consultants who involved with this kind of formwork system will be approach to identify the sustainability elements that provide optimal formwork system. The targeted project sites are around Selangor, Johor and Kuala Lumpur. From identified IBS formworks systems, the sustainability elements of those systems will be described as the crucial elements to be taken into account on the future construction. Method to be used in data collection is via questionnaire survey.

1.5 Brief Research Methodology

This research will be conducted via quetionnaire

1.6 Expected Findings

There are few expected findings in this research on the sustainable for optimal IBS formwork system:

(i) To review the types of formwork system. (ii) To determine the fundamental elements of optimal formwork system. (iii)To determine which formwork systems features are operating optimally.



2.1.0 Building System
y y y

Cast-In-Situ Construction Method Composite Construction Method Fully Pre-fabricated Construction Method

Generally, there are four types of building systems currently available in Malaysia according to Badir-Razali building system classification (Badir et al. 1998).

Conventional Building Method is defined as components of the building that are prefabricated on site through the processes of timber or plywood formwork installation, steel reinforcement, and cast in-situ. The traditional construction method uses wooden formwork. It is much more costly for construction which includes labor, raw material, transportation and low speed of construction time.

Cast-In-Situ Construction system is suitable for a country where unskilled labor is limited. There is no heavy machinery or high technology involved. The system is technically applicable to almost all types of building. Formwork is used as a mould where wet concrete is poured into a temporary system. The temporary system also acts as a temporary support for

the structures. The objective of an in-situ method is to eliminate and reduce the traditional site-based trades like traditional timber formwork. A carefully planned in-situ work can maximize the productivity, speed and accuracy of pre-fabricated construction. Cast in-situ method uses lightweight pre-fabricated formwork made of steel/fiberglass/aluminum that is easily erected and dismantled. The steel reinforcement is placed within the formwork as they are being erected and concrete is poured into the mould. When the concrete is set according to the required strength, the moulds are dismantled. The workers can be easily trained to erect the moulds and set the steel reinforcement. Its advantages over the traditional construction method include, low skill requirement, speedy construction, low maintenance, durable structure and less cost.

The objectives of Composite Construction Method (partially pre-fabricated) are to improve quality, reduce cost, and shorten construction time. The concept of partial industrialized system is derived from the composite nature of full industrialization, and is used to describe a manufacturing or production strategy that selectively uses some industrializing aspects, while avoiding or postponing the use of others.

In Fully Pre-fabricated Construction Method, all elements that can be standardized are pre-fabricated in the factory. Normally, this method would involve the assembly of precast elements such as floor slabs, in-filled walls, bathrooms, staircases, etc. into place for incorporation into the main units, columns and beams. This method of construction has reduced the amount of site labor involved in building operations and increased the productivity of the industry. Precast building systems can reduce the duration of a project if certain conditions are met.

These types of construction are specifically aimed at increasing productivity and quality of work through the use of better construction machinery, equipment, technology and materials. With the increase in material costs in the construction industry, there is a need to find more cost saving formwork system so as to maintain the cost of constructing building at prices affordable to clients. To cope with this challenge, Malaysian Construction Industry has been urged to use innovative construction technique and to shift from traditional practice to Industrialized Building System (IBS) construction.

2.1.1 Formwork Definition Formwork is the moulds that concrete is poured into so that it retains its shape as it sets. The concrete is poured into the formwork and the formwork remains until the concrete is fully set and is capable of supporting itself. The formwork can be either temporary or permanent. It is important that the formwork is strong enough to support the concrete otherwise "blowouts´ can occur. This is when the formwork bends or breaks, allowing the concrete to escape before it is fully set. It must also be left on for the specified time in the case of temporary or removable formwork.

Formwork can be divided into two categories which are temporary formwork and permanent formwork. Temporary Structure required to safely supporting concrete until it reaches adequate strength. Whilst, the permanent categories of formwork have its very own advantages, listed as follows:
y y y

Reducing the skill level needed on site. Increasing the potential for standardization and repetition. Permitting off-site fabrication in factory conditions followed by scheduled and appropriate deliveries.

y y y

Speeding up erection times, particularly in building works Eliminating the need to strike formwork and false work Allowing early access for following or concurrent operations.





There are different types of formwork: a. Timber formwork This formwork is constructed on the building site and it is made from timber and plywood or moisture-resistant particleboard. It is easy to make but can be time consuming and it should be noted that the plywood or particleboard used has a relatively short lifespan. Traditional formwork for concrete construction normally consisted of bespoke solutions

requiring skilled craftsmen. This type of formwork often had poor safety features and gave slow rates of construction on-site and huge levels of waste ± inefficient and unsustainable.

(Design - Column shutters using column clamp system) Formwork Design The design of timber formwork can be calculated from established timber properties to ensure structural elements are correctly sized and positioned.

False Work Design Calculations proving that structural elements used in the deck support systems are capable of withstanding imposed loads from both the concrete and the concrete placing team. Reinforcement Design Designed to approve codes and detailed by our experienced steel fixers to ensure onsite fabrication runs smoothly.

Concrete Structure Design The design of concrete structures with the constriction process firmly in mind ensures site operations run smoothly.

b. Engineered formwork This consists of premade modules that have a metal frame and are covered on the concrete side with a material such as timber or aluminum. The metal frame is usually steel or aluminum. The advantage of engineered formwork is that it is modular in nature, so you can simply join it together, making it fast to erect. Because it can be reusable, it is also cost effective.

Steel Formwork Systems Type (IBS)

Tunnel, beams & columns molding forms, permanent steel formworks (metal decks, etc)

The steel formwork is prefabricated in the factory and then installed on site. However the steel reinforcement and services conduit are installed on site before the steel formwork are installed. The installation of this formwork is easy by using simple bracing system. Then concrete is poured into the formwork and after seven days, the formwork can be removed and there is some system whereby the formwork served as a part of the structure itself after concreting. The steel formwork systems are used in tunnel forms, beams, column molding forms and permanent steel formworks. It is a system where the design and structure of the building are reduced to a set number of common constituent parts or components, with the rationale that they can be prefabricated or manufactured in long term production runs, even far away from the construction site. These components, furnished with standard dimensions and specific attributes, will then be delivered to the site and assembled according to certain standards in order to bring together the proposed building.

c. Reusable plastic formwork Reusable plastic formwork are made up of lightweight, strong formwork panels that are interlocking and modular in nature, so we can easily construct the formwork for wet concrete.

d. Insulated formwork Also known as insulated concrete formwork or ICFs, the formwork itself is made out of expanded polystyrene, ad it stays in place once the concrete is set, making it a permanent type of formwork. These formwork systems are very energy efficient.

e. Permanent formwork - this type of formwork is designed to stay in place (be permanent). It is put together on the site and it remains even after the concrete is fully set, giving the concrete extra strength and also protecting it. comflor/comflor_range/formwork/

2.1.3 Class of Formwork a. Foundation Formwork

Figure 7 Foundation formwork 1 formwork sheeting, 2 stull, 3 waler, 4 posts, 5 thrust-board, 6 concrete bottoms, 7 tie wire


Wall Formwork

Figure 8 Wall formwork (vertical section) 1 stull, 2 screw tie, 3 bracing, 4 waler 5 post, 6 cleaning hole, 7 thrust-boards


Ceiling Formwork

Figure 9 Ceiling formwork (vertical section) 1 formwork sheeting, 2 formwork bearer, 3 main bearers, 4 cleat, 5 column, 6 wall, 7 bracing, 8 support wedges


Beam Formwork

Figure 10 Preparation table 1 square strip, 2 post, 3 stop rail

Figure 11 Beam formwork 1 side panel, 2 cover strap, 3 waler, 4 thrust-boards, 5 stull, 6 formwork bottom, 7 trestle, 8 tie wire


Column Formwork

Figure 12 Column formwork (horizontal section) 1 formwork sheeting, 2 cover strap, 3 clamp, 4 arch timber

2.2 FORMWORK & SUSTAINABILITY Sustainability in Construction Development There is an increasing demand in both the private and public sectors to understand sustainable construction practices. This demand is driven by a realization that sustainable practices make sense to both owners and operators. The practices not only help the environment but can also improve economic profitability and improve relationships with stakeholder groups. The diagram below explains how sustainable development is implemented within the construction industry's private and public sectors.

sustainable development

sustainable construction

sustainable (green) building

Sustainability development often being phrased together with the terms of sustainable construction and sustainable building where in all of them are related to each other. Sustainable Development Different parties usually define the terms of sustainable development in their own way but most of them have almost the same connotation. One them is what is defined in Brundtland Report (1987). This becomes the most often-quoted definition as it state that the sustainable development is: "development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs". The sustainable development is carrying on without neglecting our future legion to have better life and fulfilling their desires as well as to construct green building. This report was significant because it helped trigger a wide range of actions, including:
y y y y

UN Earth Summits (in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 and Johannesburg in 2002) The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Worldwide "Agenda 21" programmed Creation of member state sustainable development strategies such as the UK s Sustainable Development Strategy.

Sustainable Development is an example of resource use that aims to meet human needs while preserving the environment so that these needs can be met not only in the present, but also for future generations. Sustainable development ties together concern for the carrying capacity of natural systems with the social challenges facing humanity. As early as the 1970s "sustainability" was employed to describe an economy "in equilibrium with basic ecological support systems. Ecologists have pointed to The Limits to Growth, and presented the alternative of a "steady state economy in order to address environmental concerns. The field of sustainable development can be conceptually broken into three constituent parts: environmental sustainability, economic sustainability and sociopolitical sustainability. Sustainable Construction

Sustainable construction, which has been dubbed µgreen construction¶, describes the responsibility of the construction industry in attaining sustainability. The term sustainability has been adopted as a panacea for change and development .Sustainable construction is a process whereby, over time, sustainability is achieved. The concept of sustainability must be applied into construction industry to influence the manner in which a project shall be conducted to strike a balance between conserving the environment and maintaining prosperity in development .Attaining sustainability does not mean the eradication of adverse impact, which is an impossible vision at present, but rather the reduction of it to a certain reasonable level .Sustainable Construction is the application of sustainable development to the construction industry. It is a method of ongoing way of sustainable development with regards to environmental, socioeconomic and cultural issues.

Sustainable Construction in Malaysia ±Developers¶ Awareness by Nazirah Zainul Abidin

a) Construction Materials Prior to the launch of the Sustainable Construction, the needs of using sustainable material is a must to be considered as an major element of sustainable construction. There are varieties types of material, but the major materials that can be used for construction of formwork system are: a) Timber b) c) Steel

Steels are a large family of metals. All of them are alloys in which iron is mixed with carbon and other elements. Steels are described as mild, mediumor high-carbon steels according to the percentage of carbon they contain

d) Glass Reinforced Plastic e) Aluminum 2.1.3 Formwork Comparison

ADVANTAGES y y y Easy handling because it¶s light weight Timber y y Easy to disassemble Damaged parts can be replaced with new one y Very flexible y y

DISADVANTAGES Can¶t be used for long. Have limited re-use. Can only be re-used 5 or 6 times If the timber is dry, it will absorb moisture from wet concrete which could weaken the resultant concrete member. Timber with high moisture content (more than 20 % moisture content), wet concrete will shrink & cup leading to open joints & leakage of grout. Limited size or shape Excessive loss of heat A very smooth surface will be produced which would give problems for finishing process y y y Limited fixing Expensive at first Long lead times. Building fiberglass forms requires first to build a form to shape the glass, and then each cast has considerable work before your first concrete cast is possible. y not as heavy as steel, but usually cast in such large sections weight exceeds the ability of non mechanized handling


Very strong and able to carry heavy load

y y y


y y y

Easy to be fixed Uniform size and surface Can be used for a very long time Very useful for complex shape and special features


Glass Reinforced Plastic

y y y

Easy to disassemble Light (not heavy) Damages on the formwork can be easily be repaired

y Aluminum y y

Not as easy to damage as steel Assembles fast. A single form can be used to build components of a large cast increasing form repeats and decreasing the y y y Concrete is heavy. Set times before handlings are a factor. Must be built strong enough to resist normal loads plus handling loads (increased re-bar). y Can be very costly to buy.

Concrete (Commonly Called "Pre-Cast")

amount of forms needed. y It is possible to cast light shapes to build beams and hold dead loads.

Other formwork materials currently being used are:

Fabric formwork: A system where a fabric membrane is stapled to very lightweight forms.


Latex, rubber formwork: Used in the production of small molded concrete pieces that would be extremely hard by other means. The rubber nature of the mould allows it to stretch when being stripped off the piece. Typically used as a cottage industry type business making molded garden ornaments etc.

b) Sustainability Fundamentals Of Construction

Sustainable construction is holding up the sustainable development itself by listing several fundamentals. The following points are considered as key aspects to consider when developing sustainable construction:i. Thermal Mass

Concrete construction naturally has a high thermal mass, which is the ability of a material to store excess heat energy during the day. This heat energy is then released back into the building at night as it begins to cool. ii. Durability

Concrete is inherently durable, and when cast within the sustainable type system, it cures without suffering exposure to extreme temperature variances. This results in a far higher strength of set initially, but the insulation provided by the polystyrene also permanently reduces the stress on the concrete caused by thermal expansion and contraction, enhancing its lifetime well beyond standard masonry construction. iii. Fire Resistance

Concrete construction is extremely resilient to fire damage.


Sound Insulation The mass of the concrete within the sustainable formwork system makes for amazing sound absorption with typical sound reduction across the finished wall.


Flood Resistance Neither concrete nor expanded polystyrene rot or suffer from water damage, making sustainable formwork of construction extremely resilient to flood damage. The monolithic structure is much better at resisting water ingress and can even be made waterproof for applications such as basements and swimming pools.


Maintenance The physical and chemical constancy of both concrete and sustainable formwork building means there is practically no maintenance required to the structure at all.


Security The inherent strength of the solid concrete core makes a sustainable formwork structure safe and secure. This can be further enhanced by reinforcing the concrete where necessary.


Air-tightness Sustainable formwork is extremely airtight. Because this is a poured concrete method of construction the structure is effectively monolithic, thus air-leakage is reduced to an absolute minimum. Sustainable (Green) Building The concept of sustainable building incorporates and integrates a variety of strategies during the design, construction and operation of building projects. The use of green building materials and products represents one important strategy in the design of a building. a) Green Building Materials

Green building materials are composed of renewable, rather than nonrenewable resources. Green materials are environmentally responsible because impacts are considered over the life of the product (Spiegel and Meadows, 1999). Depending upon project-specific goals, an assessment of green materials may involve an evaluation of one or more of the criteria listed below. b) Green building material/product selection criteria
i. ii. iii. iv. v.

Resource efficiency Indoor air quality Energy efficiency Water conservation Affordability

This information was based on Lynn Froeschle's article, "Environmental Assessment and Specification of Green Building Materials" October 1999) issue of The Construction Specifier, a publication for members of the Construction Specifications Institute (CSI). Selection criteria similar to what is presented below were also used for the East End Project as identified in the Review of Construction Projects Using Sustainable Materials. i. Resource Efficiency can be accomplished by utilizing materials that meet the following criteria:

Recycled Content: Products with identifiable recycled content, including postindustrial content with a preference for postconsumer content.


Natural, plentiful or renewable: Materials harvested from sustainably managed sources and preferably have an independent certification (e.g., certified wood) and are certified by an independent third party.


Resource efficient manufacturing process:

Products manufactured with resource-efficient processes including reducing energy consumption, minimizing waste (recycled, recyclable and or source reduced product packaging), and reducing greenhouse gases.


Locally available:

Building materials, components, and systems found locally or regionally saving energy and resources in transportation to the project site.


Salvaged, refurbished, or remanufactured:

Includes saving a material from disposal and renovating, repairing, restoring, or generally improving the appearance, performance, quality, functionality, or value of a product.


Reusable or recyclable:

Select materials that can be easily dismantled and reused or recycled at the end of their useful life.


Recycled or recyclable product packaging:

Products enclosed in recycled content or recyclable packaging.



Materials that are longer lasting or are comparable to conventional products with long life expectancies.


Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) is enhanced by utilizing materials that meet the following criteria:

Low or non-toxic:

Materials that emit few or no carcinogens, reproductive toxicants, or irritants as demonstrated by the manufacturer through appropriate testing.


Minimal chemical emissions:

Products that have minimal emissions of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). Products that also maximize resource and energy efficiency while reducing chemical emissions.


Low-VOC assembly:

Materials installed with minimal VOC-producing compounds, or no-VOC mechanical attachment methods and minimal hazards.


Moisture resistant:

Products and systems that resist moisture or inhibit the growth of biological contaminants in buildings.


Healthfully maintained:

Materials, components, and systems that require only simple, non-toxic, or low-VOC methods of cleaning.


Systems or equipment:


Products that promote healthy IAQ by identifying indoor air pollutants or enhancing the air quality.


Energy Efficiency can be maximized by utilizing materials and systems that meet the following criteria:

Materials, components, and systems that help reduce energy consumption in buildings and facilities.


Water Conservation can be obtained by utilizing materials and systems that meet the following criteria:

Products and systems that help reduce water consumption in buildings and conserve water in landscaped areas.


Affordability can be considered when building product life-cycle costs are comparable to conventional materials or as a whole, are within a project-defined percentage of the overall budget.

c) Green Building Benefits Green building materials offer specific benefits to the building owner and building occupants:
y y y y y

Reduced maintenance/replacement costs over the life of the building. Energy conservation. Improved occupant health and productivity. Lower costs associated with changing space configurations. Greater design flexibility.

Building and construction activities worldwide consume 3 billion tons of raw materials each year or 40 percent of total global use (Roodman and Lenssen, 1995). Using green building materials and products promotes conservation of dwindling nonrenewable resources internationally. In addition, integrating green building materials into building projects can help reduce the environmental impacts associated with the extraction, transport, processing, fabrication, installation, reuse, recycling, and disposal of these building industry source materials.

Based on structural aspects, IBS can be divided into five major types: ‡ Type 1: Pre-cast Concrete Framing, Panel and Box Systems ‡ Type 2: Steel Formwork Systems ‡ Type 3: Steel Framing Systems ‡ Type 4: Prefabricated Timber Framing Systems ‡ Type 5: Block work Systems

The first four types of the IBS are for big-time players where the initial cost of entry is very high. Type 5 would be suitable for all contractors including the class F group. The construction method of using conventional bricks has been revolutionized the development and usage of interlocking concrete masonry units (CMU) and lightweight concrete blocks. The tedious and time-consuming traditional brick-laying tasks are greatly simplified by the usage of these effective alternative solutions. Sustainability practices can enhance the cost reduction in construction. The following sustainability practices can be achieved such as by using rice husk ash (RHA) as cement replacement and the use of Palm Oil Fly Ash (POFA) and recycled.

The benefits of Industrialized Building System (IBS) as a modern method of construction are numerous and far reaching. Besides Reducing construction time, better site management, reduced wastage are but a few of these benefits that will ultimately produce better products for the customers. The Malaysian government has spared no effort to bring IBS to the drawing tables of all professionals involved in the built environment. The IBS Roadmap 2003 -2010 has been endorsed by the Cabinet of Ministers to be the blueprint document for the industrialization of the Malaysian construction sector. Nevertheless, towards the last two years of the roadmap period, the effort to promote the usage of IBS as an alternative to conventional and labor intensive construction method has yet to make headway. Although members of the industry are open to the idea, a major portion of the industry stakeholders are indifferent, perhaps due to resistance towards change, insufficient information and lack of technology transfer methods to support feasibility of change to IBS.

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