Low-Cost and Low-Impact Cardboard Formwork

This work explores alternatives to single-use formwork for concrete-based construction and forming alternatives for housing in low-resource development contexts. Fully or partially prefabricated structures that employ reinforced concrete to make building elements typically depend on expensive formwork made of wood, plywood, or aluminum – materials that often end up in landfills after one use. These strategies are affordable for large-scale initiatives and routine construction in developed economies. There are, however, fewer forming options for professionals and self-builders working in low-resource environments.

This research seeks to take advantage of the abundance of waste cardboard — and the material properties inherent in it — to design, fabricate, and test low-cost/low-impact formwork to support housing construction with elements made of concrete.

The work combines low-tech and low-skilled methods with high-tech and computational design methods and tools. The aim of the research is to design and prototype formwork produced with waste cardboard and sheet vinyl retrieved from the waste stream.


  • Low-Cost Diarte.pdf

    size: 7.72 MB | mime_type: application/pdf | date: 2022-02-18 | sha256: a60b1be


Work Title Low-Cost and Low-Impact Cardboard Formwork
Subtitle Waste cardboard as an alternative for single-use concrete formwork
Open Access
  1. Julio Cesar Diarte
  2. Marcus Shaffer
  3. Elena Vazquez
  1. Waste products
  2. Cardboard
  3. Concrete construction
  4. Formwork
  5. Computational design
  6. Miura origami
License CC BY-NC 4.0 (Attribution-NonCommercial)
Work Type Poster
Publication Date September 23, 2021
  1. Fall 2021 Stuckeman Research Open House
Deposited February 18, 2022




Work History

Version 1

  • Created
  • Added Creator Julio Cesar Diarte
  • Added Creator Marcus Shaffer
  • Added Creator Elena Vazquez
  • Added Low-Cost Diarte.pdf
  • Updated License Show Changes
    • https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/
  • Published
  • Updated
  • Updated