It is beneficial to learn about different types of scaffolding. In this article, I will explain what scaffolding is and discuss different types of commonly used scaffolding in construction.
First of all,
What is scaffolding?
Scaffolding is a multipurpose and temporary structure of wood, pipes, or poles that supports a structure and functions as a platform for construction workers to manoeuvre safely while working in elevated positions.
Scaffolding is primarily present at construction sites and is composed of timber and steel. Properly constructed scaffolding is often sturdy, stable, and strong enough to support the weight of construction workers and the materials placed upon it.
Component parts of scaffolding
Scaffolding has the following components:
- Standards: These are the vertical members of the framework, supported on the ground or drums, or embedded into the ground.
- Ledgers: The horizontal supporting members running parallel to the wall.
- Braces: Braces are diagonally fixed on standards.
- Putlogs: Putlogs are placed one end on ledgers and the other ends right – angles on the wall. This is a transverse member.
- Transoms: Transoms are a type of putlogs supported on ledgers on both sides.
- Bridle: This is a member used to bridge a wall opening; supports one end of the putlog at the opening.
- Boarding: Boarding is a horizontal platform supported on putlogs and is used for the support of workmen and materials at the time working.
- Guard rail: This is a rail, provided like a ledger, at the working level.
- Toeboard: These are boards, placed parallel to ledgers, and supported on putlogs, to give protection at the level of the working platform. Check the image below:
Major Types of Scaffolding in Construction
- Single scaffolding: Single scaffolding stands parallel to a wall of a structure by using vertical supports called standards. Ledgers, the horizontal supports, connect to the standards at an even vertical angle. Putlogs are the holes in the building or structure through which the scaffolding connects for support. The most common use for single scaffolding is brick masonry.
- Double or mason’s scaffolding: In stone masonry, it is very difficult to provide holes making the wall to support putlogs. In that case, two rows of scaffolding are used more strongly. Each row thus forms a separate vertical framework. The first row and second row are placed at 20 to 30 cm and 1.2 to 1.5 m away from the wall respectively. Putlogs are then supported on both frames. Rakers and cross braces are connected with this to make more strong and more stable. Such scaffolding is also called ‘independent scaffolding.
- Cantilever scaffolding: Construction workers use cantilever scaffolding when the ground is strong enough to support standards and when a wall’s upper level is under construction. The standards receive support from needles, which are protrusions sticking out from a structure on which a platform sits. Workers remove the needles from holes in the structure. This type of scaffolding is often more unsteady than other types, so taking extra precautions might be helpful while constructing it.
- Suspended scaffolding: Wires and chains suspend this type of scaffolding platform from a structure’s roof. A lever or electronic system allows the platform to raise and lower as needed. Painters, window cleaners, and repair positions commonly use this type of scaffolding.
- Trestle scaffolding: This type of scaffolding is used for painting and repair works inside the room, less than a height of 5 m. The working platform is supported on the top of movable contrivances such as tripods, ladders, etc. mounted on wheels.
- Steel scaffolding: In steel scaffolding instead of using wooden members, steel tubes are used and steel couplets or fittings are used instead of rope lashings, other things are similar to the wooden types. Such scaffolding can be erected and dismantled rapidly. Steel scaffolding is now days used is high rise building because of its greater strength, greater durability, and higher fire resistance. Through its initial cost is more but its salvage value is higher. It is extensively used these days. Fig shows steel scaffolding both for the brick wall as well as a stone wall.
- Patented scaffolding: Patented scaffolding benefits from a steel composition and comes equipped with special couplings that lock supports firmly together. The working platform sits on height-adjustable brackets.
- Wooden and bamboo scaffolding: Wood and bamboo scaffolding are more common in Asia than anywhere else in the world. These scaffoldings are notable for their flexibility and eco-responsible nature. Technicians and proficient designers construct and move through layers and stories of bamboo scaffolding while working on structures.
It can’t be denied that scaffolding is an essential part of a construction project. Scaffolding is critical not only for the safety of the construction crew but also for the support of the original building’s structure.
Taking into consideration that there are numerous types of scaffolding systems to choose from, each project’s requirements and specifications will determine the type of scaffolding you will work with. For example, the type of terrain and the nature of the construction project will determine the type of scaffolding system used on site.