Working out the correct type of reinforcement for a concrete element, along with the right quantities and the bends and joins that are needed, is a complex process. Factor in multiple different concrete elements across a single construction project, and it’s easy to see just how rigorous design professionals need to be, to ensure that projects run smoothly, on time and on budget. Getting the concrete reinforcement wrong could have major implications in terms of cost, project delays and even structural integrity of the building under construction. That’s why it pays to complete a bar bending schedule for every concrete element within your project.
In this article, we take an in-depth look at just what a bar bending schedule is, what’s involved in filling one in accurately and the advantages that they can bring to any project.
Download a sample bar bending schedule here
In simple terms, a bar bending schedule is a list of all the reinforcement bars needed for a particular concrete component within a build. This could include multiple different types of bar, with different diameters, lengths and bends. All the details necessary to produce the bar to the exact specification required must be included in the schedule. For each bar, the details will include the exact type of bar (following the relevant UK standards), the bar diameter, all details of bends within the bar or hooks at either end, the total length of the bar, and the quantity of bars required in this configuration. With regards to the bends within a bar, it’s important to specify the angles of the bends, the lengths between any bends and the lengths between the first and last bend and either end of the bar.
All details should be added to the schedule in mm, and should be as accurate as possible. Shape codes should be used to avoid any confusion, and these should be taken from BS8666:2020 to ensure compliance with the latest regulations. Bar bending schedules are typically created as a spreadsheet, in order to produce a consistent and universally understood format. An example of a simple bar bending schedule is shown below.
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On any construction project, whether large or small, it’s vital to keep control of project budgets and timeframes, and a bar bending schedule can really help with this. By taking the time to produce accurate schedules for all of your reinforcement requirements, you can be sure that wastage and delays are kept to a minimum.
In fact, by producing a detailed schedule in conjunction with your technical team, significant time savings can be made, since all of the reinforcement products can be bent and cut off-site at the same time as the groundworks are being prepared. They can then be delivered to site ready to use, saving site and labour time and minimising the time the products are left on site waiting to be used – potentially exposed to the elements or at risk of being stolen.
In order to get the most from a bar bending schedule, it’s important that you produce the schedule in a format that is clear and easy to understand for both your reinforcement supplier and your project team. A downloadable template is available at the bottom of this article, and this should provide you with all the fields you need in order to produce a comprehensive schedule. In the template, the fields should be completed as follows:
Member: The identification reference for a specific member taken from the structural diagrams
Bar Mark: A code stamped into the rebar, or a proprietary reference number for a specific rebar type and size
Type & Size: Use this field to describe the type of bar, for example H10 or H16
No of members: The total quantity of cages or complete fabrications
No. in each: The quantity of pieces in one cage or construction
Total no: The number of members multiplied by the amount of pieces in a single member
Length of each bar +mm: The total length of each bar – always use mm in your measurements.
Shape Code: The BS shape code for this particular type of bar
A*/B*/C*/D* mm: The lengths, in mm, between bends within the overall length of the bar. The totals across these fields should add up to the same value as entered in the ‘Length of each bar’ field. If there are fewer bends in the bar, not all of these fields will contain a value.
E/r * mm: If required, the length in mm, of any further element of the bar, beyond the lengths specified in A*/B*/C*/D* above. The code ‘r’ refers to the minimum radius of the bar, as specified in the shape codes list.
Rev: Indicates whether this schedule reflects revisions that have been made to the initial set of technical drawings.
To sum up, getting used to producing bar bending schedules for all your reinforcement requirements is a best practice step that can save both time and money. Once a system is in place for producing these schedules, they can be completed quickly and with the minimum of fuss, leading to long-term productivity and accuracy gains.