We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

How We Make Money

We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently from our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is Slipform?

Mary McMahon
Updated May 17, 2024
Our promise to you
About Mechanics is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At About Mechanics, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

Slipform is a construction technique where a set of low forms is used to start shaping walls and move the forms as they build up, allowing finished walls to emerge beneath while building material is added above. This method is available for use with masonry construction as well as solid pours of concrete and other materials. Structures like homes, retaining walls, curbs, and so forth can all be built using this technique, and it is suitable for a variety of climates and construction materials.

In solid concrete construction, slipform involves the use of a continuous pour of concrete while the workers slip the molds up. The formulation of the concrete must be very precise, as it needs to be solid enough to stand on its own as the molds move up, without setting so quickly that cracks and lines appear in the finished product. Slipform concrete construction on a large scale started in the 1960s and can be seen in action around the world.

As the molds move up, workers add reinforcement to the concrete in the form of rebar and other structural elements. They move with the molds, usually on a platform with hydraulic jacks, and control the characteristics of the concrete pour. They need to tamp the concrete down to keep it solid and eliminate bubbles and other problems. When the structure is done, it can be finished by removing drips and smoothing the surface to prepare for surface treatments, if desired.

With masonry, workers begin with a set of low forms and start a course of masonry and cement. As it sets, they slip the forms up for the next course. The forms support the masonry as it sets and provide firm guides to keep it even in appearance. The movement of the forms tends to create clots and streaks of cement which can be left in place for a rustic look, or smoothed away in the finishing process. One advantage to slipform construction is that it is possible to do it without an assistant, although the building will take longer.

People using this technique in masonry work can employ bricks, concrete masonry units, paving stones, and a variety of other materials. Those with an interest in green construction may try slipform methods using materials from the land if rocks suitable for building are available. The technique can be useful for making foundations as well as walls, and masonry confers environmental advantages like retaining heat and controlling interior temperatures in all climates and weather conditions.

About Mechanics is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a About Mechanics researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments

By anon1005660 — On Oct 19, 2021

It's interesting to know that slipform is actually a construction technique that is also commonly used in concrete masonry. I really want to build a home with mostly concrete structures so this might come in handy. I'd have to talk to a contractor about the feasibility of my plans as well.

Mary McMahon

Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
About Mechanics, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

About Mechanics, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.