Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to establish labour productivity norms (LPNs) on an elemental basis to investigate a measurement for the labour productivity (LP) of aluminium system formwork (ASF) in low-cost housing projects (LHPs) in Sri Lanka. Design/methodology/approach - Case study approach was selected as the most appropriate for the study and semi-structured interviews, document review and direct observations were used for the data collection. Four case studies were conducted. Eight semi-structured interviews were conducted among four cases. Further, document review was used in three cases, and direct observation was used in one case. The validation of the results was not possible in a real life project due to time limitations. Findings- The findings identified six labour productivity factors (LPFs) affecting the LP of ASF. The need for LPNs for ASF on an elemental basis is identified. Further, LPNs were developed using LPFs. Research limitations/implications - This research was limited to LHPs for underserved settlements in Colombo, Sri Lanka which use ASF. The LPNs were prepared based on time studies and were restricted to structural elements such as slabs, beams and columns. Originality/value - The LPNs were developed for ASF in LHPs based on the effect of weather, crew, site, management and project factors. Further, the study addresses a gap in the literature regarding the development of LPNs of ASF for LPHs in Sri Lanka. LPNs for ASF have enhanced LP while promoting economic and social stability in the industry.