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How to reduce the costs of formwork in construction

How to reduce the costs of formwork in construction

Construction projects can be costly processes, so contractors need to find ways to minimise these expenses without affecting the quality of their work. One simple way to minimise the expense of a building is to reduce the costs of concrete formwork. Sometimes formwork can account for up to 60% of the total budget for a building.

New materials, proper planning and prefabricated formwork components can allow contractors to reduce their building expenses without affecting the quality of their work. There are several other ways to reduce the price of formwork, such as using one system throughout the project, using standard form sizes and using the same level for all beams and joints.

Tips for minimising the costs of formwork

  • Use a single framing system for the whole project. This not only helps contractors to learn the formwork system easily, but it also helps to minimise the costs of the formwork set-up.
  • Use the same depth of formwork for all concrete beams. This will help to standardise beam size and shape, making the project quicker and easier.
  • Stick with the same formwork moulds for beams, even if the spans and loads of these beams are different. Contractors can modify the concrete ratios to compensate for various loads on beams.
  • Simplifying the formwork can also help to create uniform shapes and sizes for concrete pillars and beams. 
  • Reuse formwork as much as possible.
  • Use a constant floor-to-floor height between the different levels of a building. This will ensure standardised pillar heights and formwork moulds.
  • Orientate all framing in one direction to save money and time when pouring concrete into the formwork.
  • Consider flat plate formwork for concrete spans up to 7.5 metres as this framing system is the cheapest and fastest to construct.
  • Determine a standard time for the stripping of formwork from poured concrete. This will allow a project to run smoothly and on schedule.

These tips are based on a few general principles. Standardisation and time-management are two of the biggest factors that can reduce the costs of formwork. Contractors need to use standard formwork frames and create concrete beams and pillars of uniforms sizes. This helps to speed up the construction process and in this industry, time is money.


LafargeHolcim is a leading building materials and solutions company that has been operating in international markets for decades. We produce cement and aggregates for construction projects, ranging from small affordable housing developments to large-scale infrastructure projects such as high-rise buildings, dams and bridges. 


LafargeHolcim Tanzania has been supplying the country and neighbouring countries with our world-class Tembo cement brand for over 30 years. Our head office and fully-integrated plant are located in Mbeya, Southwest Tanzania.


At LafargeHolcim Tanzania, we believe customers come first. We listen to your specific requirements to supply and develop the best solutions for your needs. As the new leader in building materials, you can also rely on our cutting-edge research and development capabilities that have resulted in the finest materials for your construction projects, whether large or small.


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