Building Construction and Economy

Careful planning in scheduling the construction operations for a building and in providing the forms can assure the maximum economy in formwork and also the highest efficiency by labor, both of  which will reduce the cost of formwork.

Consider the six-story building in Figure 2-1, to be constructed  with concrete columns, girders, beams, and slabs. The floor area is  large enough to justify dividing the floor into two equal or approx-imately equal areas for forms and concreting. A construction joint through the building is specified or will be permitted. If the structure is symmetrical about the construction joint, the builder will be fortunate. If the building is not symmetrical about the construction joint, some modifications will have to be made in the form procedures presented hereafter.

Each floor will be divided into equal units for construction purposes. Thus, there will be 12 units in the building. One unit will be completely constructed each week, weather permitting, which will include making and erecting the forms; placing the reinforcing steel, electrical conduit, plumbing items, etc., and pouring the concrete. The carpenters should complete the formwork for unit 1 by the end of the third day, after which time some of them will begin the form-work for unit 2 while others install braces on the shores and other braces, if they are required, and check; if necessary, the carpenters will adjust the elevations of girder, beam, and deck forms. One or two carpenters should remain on unit 1 while the concrete is being placed. This will consume one week.
FIGURE 2-1  Construction schedule for concrete frame of building.
FIGURE 2-1  Construction schedule for concrete frame of building.

During the second week, and each week thereafter, a unit will be completed. Delays owing to weather may alter the timing but not the schedule or sequence of operations. Figure 2-1 shows a simplified section through this building with the units and elapsed time indicated but with no provision for lost time owing to weather.

Forms for columns and beam and girder sides must be left in place for at least 48 hours, whereas forms for the beam and girder bottoms, floor slab, and vertical shores must be left in place for at
least 18 days. However, concrete test cylinders may be broken to determine the possibility of a shorter removal time of shores. Form-work will be transferred from one unit to another as quickly as time requirements and similarity of structural members will permit.

Table 2-2 will assist in determining the number of reuses of form units and total form materials required to construct the building illustrated in Figure 2-1. Although the extent to which given form sections can be reused will vary for different buildings, the method of analyzing reusage presented in this table can be applied to any building and to many concrete structures.

If the schedule shown in Table 2-2 will apply, it will be necessary to provide the following numbers of sets of forms: for columns and beam and girder sides, two sets and for beam bottoms, slab decking,
and shores, three sets.
TABLE 2-2  Schedule of Use and Reuse of Formwork for a Building (Continued  )
If structural sections such as columns, girders, beams, and floor panels in odd-numbered units 1 through 11 are similar, and those in the even-numbered units 2 through 12 are similar, but those in units 1 through 11 are not similar to those in units 2 through 12, it will be necessary to move form sections to higher floors above given units. For example, forms for unit 1 cannot be used in unit 2, or those from unit 3 in unit 4, and so on. Under this condition, it will be necessary to provide one set of columns and beam and girder sides for unit 1 and another set for unit 2, which will be sufficient for the entire building.

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