Design methods for flexibly formed concrete beams

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This paper presents an iterative method for the design of structurally optimised, simply supported, flexibly formed, concrete beams. The design and construction method using flexible formwork has been shown to facilitate material savings of up to 40%, providing significant opportunities for low-carbon concrete design.

The proposed method considers both ultimate and serviceability limit states for the optimised beam. The iterative nature of the design process, and its interdependency with the construction method, is demonstrated. Further considerations such as reinforcement detailing, methods to support the flexible mould, and alternative support conditions, are also discussed.

It is seen that replacing conventional orthogonal moulds with a flexible system comprised primarily of high strength, low cost fabric sheets, utilises concrete to create extraordinary possibilities for highly optimised, low carbon, architecturally interesting, building forms.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)654-666
Number of pages13
JournalProceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers-Structures and Buildings
Issue number11
Early online date16 Jun 2014
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2014


  • Concrete structures
  • Design methods & aids
  • Sustainability


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