The use of scaffolding to assist workers and materials in construction happens every day all over the world. Scaffolding, which is a temporary structure used to support workers and materials in the construction, maintenance, and repair of buildings, has been used in one form or another for thousands of years. Today, there are many different types of scaffolding available to companies to assist them in completing projects on time and on budget. There’s no question that our world would look starkly different if scaffolding was never invented!
Not only are there many different types of scaffolding available, but the materials used to build these structures also differ widely. Scaffolding can be made from timber, bamboo, aluminium, steel, as well as modular and preassembled structures. Consequently, understanding which type of scaffolding is suitable for your next project takes some knowledge into the various types of scaffolding and materials. To help you in understanding what scaffolding is best for your specifications, we’re going to examine some the most common types of scaffolding available on the market today.
Single pole scaffolding
Single pole scaffolding, also known as bricklayers scaffolding, is one of the most basic forms of scaffolding that consists of a series of vertical members (known as standards) that are made from bamboo or timber. This type of scaffolding is fixed to the ground and assembled parallel to a wall (typically a building). Braces are commonly used to enhance the stability of the structure, particularly when it gets taller in height.
Double pole scaffolding
Double pole scaffolding, also known as mason’s scaffolding, is notably stronger than single pole scaffolding given that it has two rows of standards that are fixed to the ground (hence the name ‘double pole’). Companies will utilise double pole scaffolding when workers need more support and durability to carry out their tasks.
Steel scaffolding, also known as tubular scaffolding, has a similar structural composition as single pole and double pole, however the key difference lies within the materials used to make the structure. Rather than fixing timber standards in the ground, a steel base plate is used instead. Furthermore, steel couples replace rope lashing and steel tubing is used which has an approximate diameter of between 40mm and 60mm.
Not only is steel scaffolding stronger and more durable than double pole scaffolding, but erecting and disassembling this type of scaffolding is quicker and cheaper due to a reduction in construction timeframes. In addition to this, steel scaffolding has a greater fire resistance capacity which increases worker safety, and is better suited to projects that involve large heights, such as residential apartments and commercial buildings.
Needle beam scaffolding
Where construction needs to take place in busy areas and fixing the scaffolding to the ground isn’t an option, needle beam scaffolding is used. This type of scaffolding consists of a platform that is suspended from needle beams and is usually attached on one end to a permanent structural member. Needle beam scaffolding is made from timber and is also commonly used when workers need access to high levels of a structure, such as skyscrapers.
Suspended scaffolding is the type of scaffolding used by painters and window washers in tall buildings. Here, working platforms are suspended from rooftops using either ropes or chains that allow workers to easily raise or lower the platform to where their work is required. This type of scaffolding is used for any type of work that is required on the side of tall buildings where working platforms can be suspended from rooftops.
Trestle scaffolding is relatively small and perfect for home DIY projects where work is required inside a room. Reaching a maximum of 5 metres in height, this type of scaffolding is mobile, compact, and generally used on small projects such as painting or repairs. The working platform is very stable and accommodating, allowing workers to perform their job with ease. Trestle scaffolding is a great alternative to the ladder which doesn’t always fit inside the home.
So, which type is scaffolding should you use for your next project?
There are many factors to consider when determining which type of scaffolding would best be suited for your next project. Having the most suitable equipment to assist you in completing your project is an integral component of planning and budgeting, not to mention completing the work itself! It’s important to understand that prices vary widely depending on the scaffolding you choose and how much you require. Completing your project safely and accurately should be your number one priority, so the first step is gathering your project specifications.
What types of jobs will need to be completed using the scaffolding? Where will these tasks be undertaken? How many workers will the scaffolding need to support at any one time? Answering these types of questions will give you a better indication of the type of scaffolding you’ll require. If you still have any confusion, ask yourself these additional questions to gain a better understanding.
- Will you be constructing, renovating, or repairing a structure?
- Will work be required inside a building or outside?
- What is the height of the structure? Will it be single-story or multi-story?
- What kind of design does the structure have?
- Can you safely fix the scaffolding to the ground, or will you require suspended scaffolding or even custom scaffolding?
Even if you can comfortably answer these questions, understanding what type of scaffolding is best for your project requirements can be tricky, so it’s best to consult with the experts for at least for a second opinion! In some cases, you may be able to save a lot of time and money simply by making a phone call.
Uni-Span is one of Australia’s most trusted and respected scaffolding and formwork companies that operate all throughout Australia. If you’re unsure of which scaffolding you require, simply give them a ring on 1300 882 825, or visit their website for additional information: https://uni-span.com.au