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Interactive computer-aided formwork design

conference contribution
posted on 20.01.2017, 16:21 by Joseph H.M. Tah, Andrew Price
While disciplines such as structural analysis are reaping the benefits of computer implementation, temporary works design lags well behind. Some of the reasons given by temporary works designers are that their designs are very practical and depend largely on the designer's experience and engineering judgement. By designing a highly interactive user friendly interface, a comprehensive program that runs on IBM compatibles has been developed. The program can be used to design formwork for walls and soffits using traditional timber and/or proprietary formwork components. The program incorporates many features commonly associated with business oriented software interfaces, placing special emphasis on the ease of use and at the same time allowing users to incorporate their own engineering judgement. The user interface features include the use of bar menus, windows and data entry screens. Formwork design may involve the use of material components from different sources, therefore, it is highly data dependent. Consequently, a Database Management System (DBMS) is used to manage a database of material properties, costs and other attribute data. Formwork members are designed using a rational approach to BS 5975: 1982 and the recommendations of the Concrete Society's text "Formwork: a guide to good practice". The program produces design details, a schedule of quantities, a cost comparison between purchased and hired proprietary formwork and a cost estimate.


This research is supported by a Cameroon Government BS grant.



  • Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering

Published in

Civil Comp'89 .


95 - 103


TAH, J. and PRICE, A., 1989. Interactive computer-aided formwork design. IN: Proceedings of 1989 4th International Conference on Civil and Structural Engineering (Civil-Comp 1989), London, Great Britain, 19-21 September 1989, pp.95-103.




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This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at:

Publication date



Closed access. Also published as: TAH, J. and PRICE, A., 1991. Interactive computer-aided formwork design. Computers and Structures, 41 (6), pp.1157-1167. URL: