Formwork is the largest cost component for a typical multistory reinforced concrete building. Formwork cost accounts for 40 to 60 percent of the cost of the concrete frame and for approximately 10 percent of the total building cost. Figure 1.1a, b presents a breakdown of different cost categories for conventional concrete slab and wall formwork. A large proportion of the cost of conven­tional formwork is related to formwork labor costs. Significant cost saving could be achieved by reducing labor costs.

Formwork costs are not the only significant component of
the formwork life cycle. Other important aspects of the formwork operation include speed, safety, and quality.