Q: Our water treatment plant job has a specification provision that we must submit all formwork calculations for approval. Since we expect a lot of calculations, I'd like to do the design by computer. Where can we get some appropriate software?

A.: We have found two software and program sources that may help. George Bowden, professor of construction engineering at Lawrence Institute of Technology, has written a program in BASIC for wall form design. He has put it on disk to run on Apple's Macintosh computer. Using American Concrete Institute (ACI) formulas for design and for lateral pressure, it calculates size and spacing for plywood, studs, wales, and ties. For more information about availability of the program or disk contact:


2694 Parkway Place Milford, Michigan 48042 313-887-7518

Kirk Gregory, an engineer and formwork consultant, has a similar program for wall form design available on disk for IBM PC-compatible computers. His interactive program also can be adapted to deck formwork calculations. For more information contact:


1110 Eikel, Suite E New Braunfels, Texas 78130, 512-629-8075

Both programs calculate formwork member spans based on bending, deflection, and shear limitations. Then the shortest of the three spans is chosen for the final design.Another computerized approach to form design uses an integrated microcomputer package spreadsheet, word processor, database manager, and graphics generator. John Christian and Saif U. Muir explained how to do it without formal programming in an article in the Journal of Construction Engineering and Management, published by the American Society of Civil Engineers. Look for "Use of Integrated Microcomputer Package for Formwork Design" in the December 1987 issue, pages 603-10.