An introduction to the Temporary Works forum by Chair Rob Millard

All construction requires some form of temporary works — the supporting works that enable a permanent structure to be built. The term “temporary works” encompasses a wide variety of activities — ranging from lateral excavation support, steel or aluminium access platforms and scaffolding, to formwork, falsework, site hoarding, reinforcing bar cages and more. Such works often represent a substantial proportion of a project’s construction costs, sometimes amounting to 50% or more of the budget. A significant temporary works failure may be catastrophic to budget, programme and reputation, as well as to safety.

Even for simple schemes, the efficient design, management and installation of temporary works can radically improve project delivery. To maximise efficiencies, temporary works need to be considered early in a project. The industry standard for the management of temporary works is defined in BS 5975: 2019.

Planning and budgeting are key. One way to improve the safety of construction, efficient design and the accuracy of cost and time estimating, is to have a detailed construction sequence that encompasses all temporary works requirements throughout the project lifecycle. An early start, with the right partners engaged at the right time, is paramount.

Watch the TWf introductory video.



The Temporary Works forum (TWf) aims to encourage open discussion of any matter related to temporary works. The forum welcomes any organisation within the industry that shares this intent — irrespective of their size or role — from client, permanent works designer, principal contractor or temporary works designer to proprietary equipment supplier, specialist, industry body or academia.

The TWf’s primary objectives with respect to temporary works are to:

  • give authoritative guidance and, when required, professional leadership to the industry;
  • consider aspects of permanent works and interfaces between permanent works and temporary works as are relevant;
  • consider both current practice and likely future developments;
  • be aware of trends and innovations in design, construction and use.

Temporary Works forum is a subscription-based member platform.

Visit their website to learn more.