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Formwork and falsework for heavy construction

N° 48. Formwork and falsework for heavy construction. Guide to good practice (96 pages, ISBN 978-2-88394-088-8, January 2009)
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fib Bulletin No. 48

Title: Formwork and falsework for heavy construction

Category: Guide to good practice

Year: 2009

Pages: 96

Format approx. DIN A4 (210x297 mm)

ISBN: 978-2-88394-088-8


The realization process of civil engineering structures is complicated, involving a wide variety of disciplines, each of which brings a specific contribution. It is a challenge to structure the process so that a balanced, optimized participation of the many disciplines involved is achieved. One of the critical success factors is knowledge management: each discipline should bring professional knowledge, but they should interact at interfaces as well.

Temporary structures are an example of this phenomenon: they are right in the middle of a complex system of interactions between structural engineering, site engineering, work preparation, procurement, and execution. They have a significant impact on cost, construction time, construction methodology and the through-life performance of the actual structure.

Formwork and falsework are among the most important elements of temporary structures for civil engineering projects. Knowledge management with respect to formwork and falsework requires engineers to share knowledge and experience in the broadest sense, as the actual performance of formwork and falsework can only be evaluated at a late stage in the realization process, when some disciplines are no longer present. The learning circle can therefore only be closed through feedback.

fib Bulletin 48 presents an overview of formwork and falsework techniques and addresses issues related to the design and application thereof. Its objective is to bridge the gap often experienced in practice by effectively feeding back state of the art knowledge and experience with regard to formwork and falsework, thus making a larger group of engineers familiar with the important issues related to the design and application of formwork and falsework. It aims to provide both structural and site engineers with information to design and use formwork and falsework in a safe, reliable, and economic way, thus achieving better interaction between the engineering disciplines involved.

Bulletin 48 addresses some fundamental issues related to formwork and falsework:

  • The appearance of the finished concrete, which is closely related to the quality of the formwork.
  • The performance of the finished concrete in relation to durability and as part of Life Cycle Management.
  • The need to support the concrete while it acquires enough strength and stiffness to support itself. In this context the most important issue is structural safety.

The guidelines given in this document are based on the experience of site and design engineers; and most of the advice is a consequence of real problems experienced in the past. Any warnings based solely on theoretical judgment have been avoided; only recommendations based on experience have been included.

fib Bulletin 48 focuses on principles only, and therefore does not address detailed design issues, for which local design codes should be applied.

Download the copyright page (= list of authors) as a PDF file.

Download the table of contents as a PDF file.

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