Flexible formwork technologies: A state of the art review

Hawkins W.J., Herrmann H., Ibell T.J., Kromoser B., Michaelski A., Orr J.J., Pedreschi R., Pronk A., Schipper R., Shepherd P., Veenendaal D., Wansdronk R. and West M.
Structural Concrete
Ernst & Sohn
doi: 10.1002/suco.201600117

Concrete is our most widely used construction material. Worldwide consumption of cement, the strength-giving component of concrete, is estimated at 4.10 Gt per year, rising from 2.22 Gt just ten years ago. This rate of consumption means that cement manufacture alone is estimated to account for 5.2 % of global carbon dioxide emissions.

Concrete offers the opportunity to economically create structures of almost any geometry. Yet its unique fluidity is seldom capitalised upon, with concrete instead being cast into rigid, flat moulds to create unoptimised geometries that result in high material use structures with large carbon footprints. This paper will explore flexible formwork construction technologies which embrace the fluidity of concrete to facilitate the practical construction of concrete structures with complex and efficient geometries.

This paper presents the current state of the art in flexible formwork technology, highlighting practical uses, research challenges and new opportunities.


    author  = "Hawkins, W.J. and Herrmann, H. and Ibell, T.J. and Kromoser, B. and Michaelski, A. and Orr, J.J. and Pedreschi, R. and Pronk, A. and Schipper, R. and Shepherd, P. and Veenendaal, D. and Wansdronk, R. and West, M.",
    title   = "Flexible formwork technologies: A state of the art review",
    journal = "Structural Concrete",
    year    = "2016",
    volume  = "17",
    number  = "6",
    pages   = "",
    month   = "December",
    doi     = "10.1002/suco.201600117",
    note    = "",

Related publications

Veenendaal D., West M. and Block P.History and overview of fabric formwork: using fabrics for concrete casting,Structural Concrete - Journal of the fib,12(3): 164-177,2011.
Veenendaal D.A History of Fabric Formwork,The Fabric Formwork Book - Methods for Building New Architectural and Structural Forms in Concrete,West, M. (editors),Routledge,London,2016.


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