The concrete forming plan and selection of form handling equipment can have serious consequences for other trades and operations, including both subcontractors and the general contractor. Of course reducing formwork cost is highly desirable, but not if it causes too large an increase in the cost of other operations. Therefore all features of a proposed formwork system and their effect on other aspects of the work must be carefully analyzed, and cost comparisons must be made of the various options.


Factors influencing the selection of a formwork system can be summarized as follows:

  1. Cost of materials used to build the forms
  2. Labor or manufacturing costs to build the forms
  3. Design for simplicity of erection and stripping
  4. Effect on architectural finish or detail
  5. Access for concrete placing and for cleanout before placing
  6. Safe access for workers including scaffolds, railings, etc.
  7. Necessary camber and deflection control
  8. Form handling and hoisting equipment
  9. Shoring off subgrade or concrete slab on grade

A thorough and detailed review with the subcontractors of all aspects of a project plan and schedule, including details and sequence of formwork operations, is essential to completion of a project and minimization of conflicts with subcontractors or owners.