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How to optimise project costs with the right choice of formwork

How to optimise project costs with the right choice of formwork

14. September 2021

Choosing the right formwork system can make a significant contribution to reducing overall costs in each individual project. An efficient formwork system that is suitable for the project reduces the time needed to use them.

“The most common situation we see with local construction companies is that the formwork system is selected solely on the basis of price, without taking into account the labour costs as well as the potential of the systems such as occupational health and safety. Wages, in particular, can quickly drive up project costs. Although there are efficient systems that offer great advantages on the construction site, can reduce labour input and thus significantly lower project costs overall, they are often ruled out due to a slightly higher price,” says Dirk Nartmann, Head of Project Development at Hünnebeck Germany.

A complete overview holds potential for savings

It can therefore be worthwhile to compare the formwork costs with the personnel costs. Often, a slightly more expensive system results in lower overall costs than a cheaper system because of the significantly lower personnel costs. Newly developed special features such as the one-sided tie system on Hünnebeck’s Manto G3 and Rasto G2 wall formwork, for example, require less manpower and thus save additional costs. With regard to the amount of material, a complete overview of all activities is also useful.

This prevents formwork from being supplied beyond the requirements of a particular project phase and thus the incurrence of unnecessary costs. Non-optimal deployment of personnel in relation to the amount of formwork is also a common problem. The statement “twice as much personnel only need half as much time” does not apply because workers can interfere with each other and thus further delay the process instead of shortening it.

During planning, it is also important to always ensure consistent crew size and concreting sections because unused resources have a negative impact on the overall project budget.

Selection criteria for formwork systems

“First of all, it needs to be clarified which concrete pattern is required, because this results in dependencies. Due to its design, panel formwork fulfils certain criteria with regard to concrete pressure, evenness tolerances, joint/tie pattern, etc. If maximum variability is required (e.g. fair-faced concrete), girder formwork is used,” explains Dirk Nartmann.

Additional limitations result from the geometric shape of the structure. Other important steps in selecting the formwork system include the specifications of light or heavy as well as vertical or horizontal and the dimensioning of the formwork quantity in relation to the number of concreting sections to be erected, but also in relation to the available manpower on the construction site. Paying rent for unused formwork on the construction site has a negative impact on the overall project budget.

The space conditions on the construction site are also very important in the selection, as is the way in which the formwork is used – manually or using machines. Using machines is less tiring and therefore more efficient.

Hünnebeck provides assistance with system selection

Hünnebeck offers a technical consulting service to help allow you to meet customer needs and to make the right choice for the respective project. This involves the professional preparation of formwork and scaffolding plans for all areas of application: from infrastructure to commercial or residential construction. In this way, formwork projects are analysed at all levels of complexity and precise material requirements are determined. In addition, the company offers help with construction sequence planning, construction schedule preparation, quantity and rental time determination as well as static calculation execution as part of its technical consulting services. The main purpose of this service is to reduce the cost of the rented formwork on site. In this way, the material supplied is fully utilised, the rental price is optimised and profitability is increased.

“We are delighted that in the current market situation, which is characterised firstly by rising wage costs and secondly by the increase in prices for the most important raw materials used, more and more customers are taking advantage of Hünnebeck’s complete range of services and appreciate the added value provided by optimised formwork planning from our engineering team and the technical support on site,” says Martin von Lom, Managing Director of Hünnebeck Germany.

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