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What Is Scaffolding In Construction?

what is scaffolding in construction


What Is Scaffolding In Construction? 8 Types Of Scaffolding And Their Uses


Scaffolding in construction refers to any elevated and temporary structure used to support people, materials, or both. Scaffolding systems are commonplace in construction projects for renovations, maintenance, or repair work.

Workers usually erect scaffolding systems at the start of construction projects. While they’re temporary structures, they must be made of a solid build and frame to support heavy loads.

Most scaffolding has a primary guard rail and working platform. Other specialised uses of this structure may require additional support, such as cross bracing, access ladders, access gates, etc.

This guide discusses the different types of scaffolding, their benefits, uses, and many more. Read on.


Different Types Of Scaffolding


Different Types Of Scaffolding

Scaffolding is essential in all construction projects, no matter which stage. Construction workers may set up different scaffolding types, depending on the project’s needs.

Each type has unique features and qualities, offering safety and convenience in various construction projects.

Below is a list of the different scaffolding types you might spot at construction sites.


1. Single Scaffolding


Single scaffolding, also called a putlog or a bricklayer’s scaffold is a traditional type of scaffolding. It’s considered one of the oldest forms and is primarily used in brick masonry work.

A single scaffold consists of various parts, such as putlogs (small holes punched into poles or beams to support the scaffolding parallel to the scaffold wall), standards, and ledgers.

The standards act as vertical supports, while the ledgers serve as horizontal support and ensure even weight distribution. The former is erected at 2 to 2.5 metres parallel to a wall, as the ledgers connect.

Single scaffolding structures must comply with construction safety standards and regulations like all scaffolding types. Any deviance from the length of the standards or material used could lead to safety concerns.


2. Double Scaffolding


Double scaffolding is mainly used for stone masonry construction projects. This is because stone walls present several challenges regarding the putlogs. It’s not easy to create holes to anchor the entire scaffolding.

As the name suggests, double scaffolding features two rows of scaffolding. These are intended to improve the structure’s strength, safety, and stability.

The first row is situated parallel to the stone wall in a double scaffolding. The second row is placed away from the first. Putlog holes support the frames, while rakers and cross braces offer additional support to the entire scaffolding.

Rakers are scaffold tubes which are inclined from the structure. Cross braces, on the other hand, refer to braces installed in an x-shaped pattern. They’re designed to support the entire double scaffolding.


3. Suspended Scaffolding


Suspended scaffolding is widely used for reaching elevated construction areas. This scaffolding system is ideal for construction work involving high-rise buildings.

Suspended scaffolding allows for faster transport of personnel and construction tools to an elevated working zone.

In suspended scaffolding, the work platforms are suspended from the adjacent structure’s roof using ropes and chains. The platform’s height can be lowered or raised as needed. This scaffolding can support painting, window work, and other elevated construction activities.


4. Cantilever Scaffolding


Cantilever scaffolding is designed to be used in areas wherein the ground isn’t sturdy enough to support the scaffold. The ground may be of uneven terrain, or the soil may be too loose to support scaffolding standards.

Cantilever scaffolding usually includes a series of needles supporting the standards. The needles refer to the protruded beams attached to the adjacent structure on which the platform is situated.

Due to the nature of their construction, cantilever scaffolding requires extensive safety precautions.

Workers must inspect the entire scaffolding for potential hazards, such as loose frames, uneven weight distribution, etc.


5. Steel Scaffolding


So far, most of the scaffolding types on this list are built with materials such as iron or lumber.

However, steel scaffolding is made primarily with construction steel pipes and tubes. These components are joined together using steel couplers and other fittings.

Steel scaffolding is the most widely-used temporary structure in construction. Aside from its durability, it also offers workers convenience, safety, and fire resistance.

Steel scaffolding is easier to dismantle than other types, thanks to the lightweight materials. They’re perfect for indoor construction projects, such as maintenance, painting, and repair.


6. Trestle Scaffolding


Construction scaffolding is generally fixed, meaning the entire structure can be assembled and dismantled on-site. They’re not mobile and usually require ample time to erect before construction begins.

But trestle scaffolding is much more mobile than other types. It’s a unique kind of scaffolding wherein wheeled ladders or tripods support the platform. They’re ideal for low-height indoor construction projects, like painting or repairs.

While the trestle scaffolding is moveable, unlike other types, its uses are limited. They can’t handle high-rise construction work, as the structure is designed only for small areas.


7. Patented Scaffolding


Patented scaffolding also uses steel construction. However, it also includes special attachments, couplings, and frames.

These features allow the scaffolding to be adjusted to specific height requirements.

Patented scaffolding is much easier to assemble and disassemble, unlike traditional scaffolding. Its adjustability makes it convenient for low-intensive construction activities, such as painting low walls and ceilings.


8. Kwikstage Scaffolding


Quick stage or kwikstage scaffolding is this list’s most versatile form of scaffolding.

As the name suggests, kwikstage scaffolding can be easily set up for indoor or outdoor construction projects. They’re perfect for speciality construction work involving complex building structures and designs.

This type of scaffolding features a modular build, meaning it has pre-built components. The modular design makes the entire structure compact, as its parts can easily be set up and dismantled.


What Are The Benefits Of Scaffolding?


What Are The Benefits Of Scaffolding

Scaffolding, or the concept of scaffolding, has existed for over a hundred centuries.

They have become a reliable fixture in construction, offering various benefits to construction projects and workers. Scaffolding, supported by equipment like crawler cranes and mobile cranes, ensures that construction projects proceed safely and efficiently, providing essential access and stability.

Here are some of the benefits of using scaffolding in construction:

  • Easy Accessibility – Scaffolding allows for uninhibited access to almost any part of the structure (i.e., roofs, trusses, high walls, ceilings, etc.) Equipment such as crawler cranes and mobile cranes can assist in assembling scaffolding at higher elevations, enhancing accessibility.
  • Improved Safety – Scaffolding allows workers to perform construction work safely. Scaffolding structures are built with added stability to support multiple objects and people simultaneously.
  • Convenience – Scaffolding eliminates the need for cumbersome and time-consuming erection of permanent structures. Since they’re only temporary, workers can put them up or take them down fairly quickly.
  • Durability – Different scaffolding structures have been made with sturdy construction materials. From timber to steel, scaffolding can last for the entire project duration or idefinitely.
  • Balanced – Not every construction project requires the same tools, but scaffolding remains a reliable installation. Workers can perform various tasks on scaffolding platforms while maintaining their footing and balance.


Conclusion About Scaffolding In Construction


Thanks to the scaffolding system, the construction industry wouldn’t be where it is today. As simple as the structure appears, it has been instrumental in reducing construction site hazards and improving worker safety.

Different types of scaffolding exist to meet every project’s needs. With this guide, construction managers will hopefully better understand which scaffolding is ideal for their project requirements.

For more information, contact Pollisum. We’re a leading crane rental company in Singapore also offering general fabrication services for construction scaffolding and other purposes. We also provide rentals for mobile cranes, crawler cranes, trailers, trucks, barges, and more.


Frequently Asked Questions About Scaffolding In Construction


Any standard scaffolding contains basic components, such as the standards, ledgers, and transoms.

The space between the temporary scaffold system and the main structure must be as small as possible. The gap should not exceed 300 millimetres as much as possible, especially if a worker has to be on the platform's edge.

Mobile cranes are crucial for the efficient and safe installation of scaffolding in construction. They provide the flexibility needed to transport and position scaffolding materials quickly and accurately, especially in confined or difficult-to-reach areas. By using mobile cranes, construction teams can significantly reduce the time required to set up scaffolding, enhancing overall project efficiency.

Scaffolding platforms can stay up indefinitely, as long as the construction project requires. The duration also depends on other factors, such as project timeline, hazards, the complexity of the job, etc.

Crawler cranes contribute to the stability and safety of scaffolding structures by providing a stable platform for lifting and positioning heavy scaffolding components. Their robust design and tracks allow them to operate on uneven terrain, ensuring that scaffolding is erected securely and accurately. This enhances the overall stability of the scaffolding, making the construction site safer for workers.