Concrete structures using fabric formwork

John Orr, Antony Darby, Timothy Ibell, Mark Evernden, Mike Otlet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

63 Citations (SciVal)


Using fabric formwork, it is possible to cast architecturally interesting, optimised structures that use up to 40% less concrete than an equivalent strength prismatic section, thereby offering the potential for significant embodied energy savings in new concrete structures. This paper reports on the philosophy of and background to fabric formwork before techniques for the design, optimisation and shape prediction of fabric formed concrete beams are presented. The practicality of construction with non-orthogonal elements is discussed before the results of new structural test data, undertaken at the University of Bath on 4m span elements formed in reusable fabric moulds, are presented. Potential areas of future development for fabric formwork, including the use of woven advanced composite fabrics as permanent participating formwork and the feasibility of uniform strength prestressed beams, are then discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Article number112
Pages (from-to)99-107
Number of pages9
JournalAtkins Technical Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2011


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