Formwork, shuttering, centering, staging, scaffolding Definition, difference, materials used & Codes to follow

Form work, shuttering, centering, staging & scaffolding; difference & Codes to follow

Whenever we built a concrete structure we need some temporary structure to hold the fresh concrete till it gains its strength & also need a temporary structure for workmanship.

Those temporary structures have been names as form work, Shuttering, Centering, Staging & Scaffolding. All the above mentioned terms (form work, Shuttering , Centering, Staging & Scaffolding)  looks similar but there are some difference between them , so let’s define all the above mentioned terms below.


Form work is a temporary structure to hold fresh concrete in its position in the desired posture till it gains its strength. So whenever we plan do built a concrete structure the form work is necessarily required.

For irregular shaped concrete structures we prepare special form work which holds the concrete just like a mold. We need specific mold like form work for the structures like bridge, elevated storage reservoir, over ground storage reservoirs, Treatment plants, industrial structures etc.

 For regular structures having vertical or horizontal surface only, we use Centering & Shuttering. Centering and shuttering are the common terms used during building structure works. So most of the people consider shuttering & centering as same term, but they are difference in terms of supporting surface.


Shuttering is a form work which supports the vertical surface of any structure just like Columns, Piers, Side supports of slabs & other vertical structures.


Centering is also a derivative of form work which is used to support the horizontal surfaces only just like Beam Bottom, Slab Bottom and etc.


Staging a temporary structure to support the form work , shuttering & centering.


Scaffolding is the temporary structure which provides a stable platform for workers to complete various construction activity like Concrete pouring, Plastering, Painting.

Materials used in Form work, Shuttering, Centering and scaffolding:

In general buildings local skilled labours use locally available material like local bamboo or balha for falsework, staging & local wooden battens or Local ply for shuttering , centering . staging works & scaffolding. In conventional shuttering system we use MS Pipes, U jacks, Wooden Battens , Across Span , MS sheet/ plates or Ply woods or reusable Polymer shuttering sheets. In multistory buildings we use doka or Mivan form work.

IS Code used For Form Work:

IS 14687 : 1999 – False work for Concrete Structure – Guide Line.

IS 4990 : 2011 – Ply wood for Concrete Shuttering Work – Specification.

IS 1200 (Part V) :1982 – Method of measurements of Buildings & Civil Engineering Works

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