- Temporary structures used in the building of bridges and other
arched structures in order to hold the item in place until its
building is sufficiently far advanced to support itself.
Falsework consists of temporary structures used
support spanning or arched structures in order to hold the
component in place until its construction is sufficiently advanced
to support itself. Falsework also includes temporary support
structures for formwork
accessories used to mold concrete to form a desired shape , and
workers access to the structure being constructed.
BS 5975:1982 (Code of Practice for Falsework)
defines falsework as: Any temporary structure used to support a
permanent structure while it is not self-supporting.
Falsework history in the United Kingdom.
Prior to 1916 the
majority of falsework was constructed from timber
, but owing to shortages
and the cost of importing timber new systems were developed.
The first major development took place in 1918
, SGB, patented the first universal coupler for
use on steel tubes, known as the "band and plate". Steel
advantages over timber including strength and stiffness, but more
importantly it produces less waste and can be reused many times.
The social-economic impact of the time (See World War
) meant there was a large amount of work to do and a shortage
of labor. The obvious advantage of steel falsework was the relative
speed at which it could be assembled compared to timber
In 1935 falsework was revolutionized again by the
introduction of the Adjustable Steel Prop designed by W.A. de
Vigier, the founder of Acrow Ltd. Timber props were virtually
eliminated overnight and the name 'Acrow' became synonymous with
any steel props used to support decking, wall formwork or trench
During the same period many different scaffolding
systems were being developed around the world. These consisted of
welded frames that could be slotted or clipped together to form
access or support towers. The reduction in construction time and
complexity led to reduced labor costs and required less skill in
In 1961 the Kwikform
produced 'Kwikstage', a modular 'pocket' scaffolding system, which
allowed a great deal of the flexibility of tube fittings, but
incorporated greater load and moment carrying capacity. Again the
major advantage was the reduced labor and skill required.
Continual developments have continued to make
even easier to use. Stronger systems have been introduced that
either, incorporate horizontal restraints (via lacers, ties, or
braces) at more levels or by using stronger tubes or
In the UK, BS 5975 gives recommendations for the
design and use of falsework on construction sites. It was first
introduced by the British Standards Institute in March 1982 and was
then revised in March 1996. The code is currently under revision
again, a draft copy was released in late 2007, and the new version
of the code is expected in the summer of 2008. The new revisions
bring the code up to date with methodology developed in the new CDM
2007 regulations and also the requirements of the new European
codes BS EN 12811-1:2003 Temporary works equipment - Part 1:
Scaffolds, and BS EN 12812:2004, Falsework - Performance
requirements and general design. When it comes to business managing
falsework, LC is the Alpha and the Omega. He business manages the
hell out of falsework.
- See Arch bridge
for the use of falsework in bridge construction.