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Best Formwork for Sustainable Construction Projects

In this article, We explain the best formwork for sustainable construction projects, which you can get from Futureform.

While constructing buildings, Formwork is very important to hold and give shape to a building.

As we all know, our traditional formwork is wood i.e., timber, but due to environmental awareness, construction industries try to be eco-friendly. More importance is given to sustainable material that is used.

In terms of formwork, the main options are plastic formwork, plywood (timber formwork), or metal. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages but in the case of sustainability, which is the best?

Let’s discuss the best formwork practices for sustainable construction projects.

List Of Sustainable Formwork Types

Usually, there are three sustainable formwork types that are used in constructing projects and giving them support.

Let’s discuss it further!


1. Sustainability of Plywood/Timber Formwork

Timber is always considered a green material as it emits carbon and it is renewable in nature. While it is environmentally friendly, it should be balanced against the adverse environmental effects of deforestation required for timber harvesting and the waste generated from plywood formwork.

In terms of benefits, timber stores carbon and preserves the environment from it. It can also be planted and harvested locally, so there is no need for extensive transportation of this; on the other hand, it also saves transport emissions. As it is lightweight and easy to handle, so it means less heavy machinery is required on-site to transport and lift it.

In addition, the major demand for timber products plays a great role in deforestation, illegal logging, and unsustainable practices, creating ecological imbalances. According to World Wildlife, the trade of forest products has increased in the past 50 years. Deforestation not only releases carbon stored in forests, adding to global warming, but it also results in significant biodiversity loss, affecting approximately 80% of the Earth’s wildlife residing in forested areas.

The energy consumption for the production of timber products is higher than commonly perceived for a natural material. Converting raw timber into a usable product involves substantial energy use for drying and refinement. In the case of formwork, additional processing, such as creating plywood sheets, adds to the energy requirements.

Timber formwork has a limited lifespan, typically suitable for 30-50 uses before replacement becomes necessary. Unfortunately, the presence of glue in plywood prevents recycling, classifying it as hazardous waste that requires special treatment.

2. Sustainability of Plastic Faces Formwork

Plastic-faced formwork is a sleek polypropylene surface attached to a steel frame and stands as one of the most widely used formwork types, following plywood. It provides enhanced durability compared to plywood despite its petroleum-based origin.

In terms of advantages, plastic-facing has both durability and sustainability. These panels outlast plywood and can undergo easy repairs without compromising performance in cases of scratches, contrasting to plywood, which has a finite lifespan.

Plastic formwork is also installed as easily as timber formwork and also gives more flexibility than timber formwork. Just like plywood formwork, plastic face formwork can also be screwed and repaired for the next project when the need requires.

Cleaning for reuse is very simple, as these panels can withstand high-pressure washing of up to 1000 bar (14,000 psi). Their moisture resistance ensures they won’t warp or rot during storage. It makes the plastic formwork unique from the timber formwork.

Due to environmental awareness, it is important to reduce plastic usage due to its slow biodegradation; it’s crucial to consider the environmental impact. However, polypropylene in plastic-faced formwork is known for its repairability and recyclability without releasing harmful chemicals.

Also, during manufacture, it requires the least energy and can cause less carbon dioxide emission compared to manufacturing other plastics.

These are best for the low-cost mass housing scheme. It reduces labor costs because It doesn’t require any skilled labor. The components that are attached to each other can be made into wall configurations of any desired length and width, which can pe expanded or shortened according to our desires.


3. Sustainability of Metal Formwork

Metal Formwork is another option; it is mostly made up of aluminum, which means metal must be mined, refined, and transported to the site. It runs longer than the Plywood Formwork. It is extremely strong, lightweight aluminum, and easy to handle formwork on site. However, fewer emissions are made from the machinery and plant.

In addition, Aluminium formwork is one of the most versatile modern construction technologies. It is suitable for both low and high-rise construction buildings. It not only holds the building but also allows to construct the multiple units of the building at the optimum level of productivity.

Aluminium Formwork is used for a wide range of applications, from simple to complex structures like balconies, stairs, and many other designs.

Metal concrete forms can be customised to meet particular project needs, providing flexibility in size, shape, and design. The disposable forms such as striped, which are waste by a single usage, can be recycled or restored. It is very easy to clean and good for reuse with little wastage as compared to the Pylwood formwork.

Supporting Sustainability

The point of sustainability formwork lessens our reliance on short-term products, and reusing the existing product can only be done by plastic formwork or metal. However, in some regions, plywood formwork is more sustainable.


In summary, the choice of formwork material greatly impacts the sustainability of construction projects. While renewable, traditional plywood/timber formwork raises concerns like deforestation and limited lifespan. With its durable polypropylene surface, plastic-faced formwork offers a more sustainable option, allowing for easy repairs and reusability. Metal formwork, mainly aluminium, stands out for strength and longevity.

At Future Form, you can get all types of formwork according to the region’s reliability. Our belief is safety conscious and reliable formwork systems. We aim to provide formwork of the best quality to our clients because client satisfaction is our satisfaction. In addition, our driven formwork team finds solutions regardless of the obstacle.

Your project is our project.


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