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Revolutionising formwork with Smart Cast

4 minutes of reading

“This is the first time in 30 years I’ve seen something that will truly change the way we build”, say site workers. Designed in 2015 by Augustin Masurel, who at the time was a works superintendent with Bouygues Construction, Smart Cast represents a minor revolution in the construction industry.

 

Smart Cast: floor formwork 2.0

 

The concept consists of industrialising and simplifying floor formwork. Concretely, Smart Cast replaces the plywood traditionally used in floor formwork with a plate that’s “lost” within the thickness of the slab. It’s a permanent formwork featuring an exceptionally resistant finishing topcoat that is immediately ready to paint. This procedure cuts down on several steps. Workers no longer have to oil the plates or strip the formwork and prepare the underside for painting.

Another innovative feature is that both sides of the plates are printed with information from the digital model, including the placement of the networks, measurements, and position of the bulkheads. In addition, box-outs are added to the plates before they are received. Smart Cast makes construction site drawings obsolete since everything is printed out on a 1:1 scale directly on the materials. In short, Smart Cast applies the principles of both BIM and lean management to help improve construction sites.

 

 

Piloting the Smart Cast procedure at Bouygues Construction sites

 

Inside Smart Cast's factoryAs of now, Smart Cast has used its innovative technology on over ten building projects in France and Switzerland. The company is now planning on quickly measuring the effects of its invention on a wider scale. The challenge is to pursue the company’s capitalisation, help modify the procedure at construction sites, and—most importantly—roll out the solution to every relevant project. To help meet this goal, the company created its first factory in Carquefou in the summer of 2017.

 

Finally, the Smart Cast experiment proves that innovation also (and above all) comes from simple ideas developed by teams in the field.