The importance of proper planning prior to beginning this phase of the construction process cannot be overemphasized. Knowing exactly what the job requires, then having the equipment and manpower necessary to do the job, will avoid many problems.
Especially when projects involve a specification and jobsite inspection, a pre-pour conference should be held. Those attending should include the concrete contractor, the architect or the engineer as the owner's representative, the testing laboratory, ans the ready mix producer. The purpose of the meeting is to make sure that each party understands the specification and to resolve any questions regarding procedures or materials to be used.
The topic of concrete formwork for structural members is too complex for treatment in this basic article. The reader is referred to ACI Standard 347-78, "Recommended Practice for Concrete Formwork" for a more complete treatment of the subject.
The contractor has a wide range of choices of methods for placing concrete depending on the size and type of project and special jobsite conditions. Among the most common methods are: depositing from the ready mix truck; transporting by wheelbarrow or buggy; depositing from a conveyor; placing by crane and bucket; and pumping.
Consolidation is the process of removing entrapped air from fresh concrete in the form. Manual methods are frequently inadequate and some sort of vibration is needed to compact the concrete. Vibration converts stiff concrete into a fluid mass that is compacted as entrapped air rises to the surface and escapes. For walls, columns and thick slabs, internal vibrators are most commonly used, but sometimes external vibrators are attached to the forms.