SCAFFOLDING: HISTORY, TYPES, USES & IMPORTANCE

scaffolding history

Scaffoldings are the individual components or specific materials used to build a temporary structure, called Scaffold, as a supporting working platform for constructing any permanent building or repairing or renovating any old building.

The primary aim of constructing a scaffold is to create a platform on which mason can work at different heights. Scaffolds also help to lift materials for the immediate uses at different heights.

Thus, scaffold is used to support a work crew and materials to aid in the construction, maintenance and repair of buildings, bridges and all other man-made structures. Scaffolds are widely used on site to get access to heights and areas that would be otherwise hard to get to. Unsafe scaffolding has the potential to result in death or serious injury. Scaffolding is also used in adapted forms for shoring, grandstand seating, concert stages, access/viewing towers, exhibition stands, ski ramps, half pipes and art projects. 

History of Scaffolding

scaffolding in UAE

Archaeologists found evidence of scaffolding dates way back to prehistoric times because holes still exist in the walls of Palaeolithic caves at Lascaux in the Dordogne region of south-western France. Sockets in the walls reveal that a structure resembling scaffoldings were used for staging to enable the primitive occupants to paint their famous wall paintings over 17,000 years ago.

There is also evidence to suggest that the ancient Egyptians used wooden scaffolding to create buildings associated with the pyramids. The Greek historian, Herodotus, also wrote the use of scaffolding in the construction of Pyramid. They also used wooden scaffolds to lift the stones to the positions and place them at the correct places. Scaffolds were also used to carve out statues around a big sized rock from the top to the bottom.

The modern scaffolding started in the early 20th century when metal fixings were introduced in place of rope. It wasn’t until the early 1900s that metal scaffolding tubes as we know them today were introduced. Prior to this date, lengths of bamboo lashed together with hemp rope were used widely as a method of creating and erecting a scaffold frame. Later on, metal pipes began to be introduced which brought about a revolutionary change in the construction of very tall buildings. Metallic scaffoldings are the main pillars of the modern scaffolding business.

In the 1900s Daniel Palmer-Jones, is known as the ‘Grandfather of Scaffolding’, realised that the newly introduced metal poles for scaffolding had a tendency to slip when tied together with ropes. He realised that a set of standard fixings would be a better way of securing both wooden and metal poles alike and, after multiple experiments of varying successes, they eventually came up with “Rapid Scaffixers”.

Following World War II, a massive building program was begun to reconstruct many of the bombed areas of Britain. The first frame system was introduced by SGB, in 1944, and a year later its use was adopted for rebuilding projects throughout the nation, allowing the company to become the successful construction company it is today.

Nowadays we have strict working regulations that continue to shape how the scaffolding industry operates and ensure that safety is paramount. Here at Spar Steel Scaffolding we are proud to be world safety standard and regulatory authority qualified, approved and certified scaffolding manufacturer and service provider in UAE, Saudi Arabia, Middle East and other MENA countries. We give peace of mind to our scaffolding clients regarding products and services supplied to complete their construction and other scaffolding related project. All our staff hold valid health & safety cards and each crew is trained and lead by a highly qualified, skilled, advanced, and certified scaffolding professionals.

Types, Uses and Importance of Specific Scaffolding

Importance of Specific Scaffolding

Scaffolding is an essential and integral part of almost all construction projects and has been used ever since the ancient period when first structures were either built or renovated or painted. Types of scaffolding varies with the type of construction work to get access to structures at height during construction. Sometimes scaffolding is used to support workers and their tools, but other times they’re used to support significant loads from building materials, like bricks, blocks, stucco, or cast-in-place concrete, which is called as ‘shoring’ instead of ‘scaffolding’.

Some of the most important types of scaffolding around the world are:

  1. Wooden & Bamboo Scaffolding
  2. Single scaffolding or Brick layer’s Scaffolding
  3. Double scaffolding or Mason’s Scaffolding
  4. Spar Steel or Tubular scaffolding
  5. Tube & Clamp Scaffolding
  6. Cantilever or Needle Scaffolding
  7. Suspended or Swinging scaffolding
  8. Systems Scaffolding
  9. Cuplock Scaffolding
  10. Kwikstage Scaffolding
  11. Haki Staircase Towers Scaffolding
  12. Frame & Brace Scaffolding
  13. Mast Climbing Scaffolding
  14. Shoring Scaffolding

Why are so many types of scaffolding there in the world?

 The types of scaffoldings are based on many factors, such as the equipment is readily available, material used, cost of equipment, types of project, labors cost, their availability, regions, risk and safety of construction workers  and platform on which they work. 

Depending on where you’re working in the world, different types of scaffolding systems will be more common. Moreover, scaffoldings made of steel and aluminum depending on the nature and budget of projects are preferred to be used except some projects where wooden poles and bamboo’s scaffoldings are fairly common.

As a designer or scaffolding clients make sure that you’re choosing the scaffolding system that works best for your project and follows the local and international safety regulations.

 The most important information about different types of scaffoldings including their applications and the regions where used are given below:

 

1. Wooden & Bamboo Scaffolding

Wooden scaffolding are used almost everywhere and it’s more common outside of North America and Europe. Pre-cut lumber was the most common type of scaffolding until steel, and the fabrication of materials, became much more affordable. 

Bamboo scaffolding is a type of scaffolding made from bamboo and is used extensively across the world, particularly in Asia and Hong Kong where it’s favored for strength, flexibility, and eco-friendliness. Countries that have tropical climates harvest the bamboo as it can grow strong and quick to be used as scaffolding material. China is home to 500 species of bamboo, which is 40% of all known species in the world. But in most of China, bamboo has largely fallen out of use as a construction material because of safety concerns. Builders favor aluminum and Spar Steel, which they see as higher quality.

2. Single scaffolding or Brick layer’s Scaffolding

Single scaffolding is commonly used for brick masonry and is so called as brick layer’s scaffolding. Single scaffolding consists of standards, ledgers, putlogs etc., which is parallel to the wall at a distance of about 1.2 m. In this scaffolding, a series of vertical members made of bamboo or timber, known as Standards, are firmly fixed into the ground in a row parallel to the building wall. The distance in between two standards is generally kept within 2.4 to 3 m.

The putlogs i.e. transverse horizontal members are placed at a horizontal spacing of 120 cm such that one end is supported on the ledgers and the other end is held in the holes made in the wall. Rope lashing is used to fasten the putlogs with ledgers.

In case, the height of the scaffolding is very high, then to maintain its stability, sometimes diagonal members i.e. Braces are provided. Braces are cross diagonally fitted with the standards using rope lashing.

3. Double Scaffolding or Mason’s Scaffolding

Double Scaffolding or Mason’s Scaffolding is commonly used for stone masonry. It is stronger than brick layer’s scaffolding. In stone walls, it is hard to make holes in the wall to support putlogs. So, two rows of scaffolding is constructed to make it strong whereas in brick layer’s scaffolding single row of standard is fixed into the ground. The first row is 20 – 30 cm away from the wall and the other one is 1m away from the first row. In this case putlogs are not fixed with the wall. Put logs are supported at both ends on ledgers. But in brick layer’s scaffolding one end of putlog is fixed with wall. To make it more strong rakers and cross braces are provided. And there is no need to make any hole on the wall surface. Therefore this is also called as independent scaffolding. Sometime raking shores are provided to prevent the slipping of scaffolding away from the wall.

4. Spar Steel or Tubular Scaffolding

Spar Steel or Tubular Scaffolding is made by using steel pipes and tubes which are fixed together by steel couplers or fittings. It is very easy to construct or dismantle. It has greater strength, more durability, and higher fire resistance. It is not economical but will give more safety for workers and construction material. So, it is used extensively nowadays.

Steel scaffolding is better to brick layer’s and mason’s scaffolding. In this case instead of using timber, steel tube of diameter of 40 m to 60 mm are used, instead of using rope lashing, special types of steel couples are used for fastening, and instead of fixing the standards into the ground, it is placed on base plate.

In steel scaffolding structure the gap between two standards in a row is generally kept within 2.5 m to 3 m. These standards are fixed on a square or round steel plate, called as Base Plate, by means of welding. Ledgers are spaced at every rise of 1.8 m. Length of the putlogs are normally 1.2 m to 1.8m.

Spar Steel or Tubular Scaffolding has many advantages in comparison of others such as:

  • Steel Scaffolding can be erected or dismantled more rapidly in comparison to timber or bamboo scaffolding. This helps in saving construction time.
  • It is more durable than timber, and therefore more economical in long run.
  • It has more fire resisting capacity.
  • It is more suitable and safe for scaffolding workers to work at any height.

 

5. Tube & Clamp Scaffolding

Scaffolding Tubes middle east

Tube & Clamp Scaffolding is one of the earliest types of steel scaffolding and consists of two parts, including the tubes and clips, which known as ‘couples.’ To erect the scaffold, there is need to connect tubes together to make long runs and then connect the verticals and horizontals together with clamps built specifically for these tubes.

This scaffolding system is very flexible to place the verticals as per need of the work. The steel in this type of scaffolding is specially designed to protect against rust and corrosion, meaning it’s a good choice for regions with harsh weather.

6. Cantilever or Needle Scaffolding

In needle scaffolding instead of fixing the standard into the ground, it is placed at some height above the ground level. The platform on which stands are placed is called needle. A needle is a cantilever structure, made of timber, projected out from the holes in wall.

Thus, cantilever or needle scaffolding is temporary supporting platform for construction work in which the standards are supported on series of needles and these needles are taken out through holes in the wall. That is why it is called single frame type scaffolding. In the other type needles are strutted inside the floors through the openings and this is called independent or double frame type scaffolding.

Cantilever or Needle Scaffolding is used in the following conditions:

  • When the ground does not having the capacity to support standards or not possible to fix standard into the ground.
  • When construction is done on the side of a busy street and the ground near the wall is to be free from traffic.
  • When construction work is carried out at very high level in case of tall building and upper part of the wall is under construction.

7. Suspended or Swinging Scaffolding

Suspended or Swinging Scaffolding is a working platform suspended from roofs with the help of wire ropes or chains, etc. which can be raised or lowered to as per required level. Suspended scaffolds can provide significant savings on very tall structures that need light duty access, like ongoing building maintenance, repair works, paintings and small improvements.

8. Systems Scaffolding

Systems Scaffolding is sometimes also known as modular scaffolding, which consists mainly of vertical and horizontal pre-engineered components that connect together in a systematic fashion. It is likely the most used type of scaffolding across the globe and there are hundreds of manufacturers, each having specific efficiencies. Some perform well in very highly loaded conditions and others are more suited to smaller repeated scaffold structures.

The term ‘systems scaffolding’ includes many different types of scaffolding that can be used to create standardized scaffolding bays.

Some of the most popular types of systems scaffolding includes:

A. Cuplock Systems Scaffolding

Cuplock Systems Scaffolding is generally made from galvanized steel. It is relevant and reliable for its ability to support heavy loads. With galvanized steel cuplocks at every 500mm to 1,000mm, it creates highly standardized systems scaffolding base that work well for scaffolding designs with repeated patterns.

B. Kwikstage Scaffolding

Kwikstage Scaffolding is a quick erection stage scaffolding modular system. It is used in construction, building tower, concrete formwork support. It is mostly preferred in Australia and UK as a scaffolding standards tools. From commercial to residential applications, Kwikstage is both easy to erect and relatively adaptable. With just five components required, it’s easy to assemble and disassemble. Non-slip platforms and double guard rails included with Kwikstage improve its safety and reliability.

C. Haki Staircase Towers

The Haki Stair Tower system consists of Haki universal standards, beams, diagonal braces and guardrails and the other components that are designed specifically for stair towers, such as landings, stair flights, handrails, toe-boards, etc. Its components are hot-dip galvanized.

These staircases are a part of the scaffold structure that enable the workers to travel from level to level, but sometimes a stair tower is used on its own. These scaffolds are also designed for workers safety and their temporary access to a section of the building.

9. Frame & Brace Scaffolding

Fabricated frame and brace scaffolding consists of frames, braces, planks, and bases. This scaffold is very light and can be erected very quickly. It’s important to note that this type of scaffolding isn’t as strong as system scaffolding. Fabricated frame and brace scaffolds are the most common type of scaffold because they are versatile, economical, and easy to use in small-scale projects where scaffolding could be made mobile. They are frequently used in one or two tiers by residential contractors, painters, etc., but their modular frames can also be stacked several stories high for use on large-scale construction jobs. These scaffolding is very common for residential and commercial applications in North America and Europe.

10. Mast Climbing Scaffolding

Mast Climbing Scaffolding is similar to suspended scaffolding, it can extend to various heights. Instead of hanging from wires, it can climb up and down on fixed mast structures that are placed on the ground. It is preferred by scaffolders who need to support heavy loads.

In case of a brick or block wall that needs to be built, mast climbing scaffolding is used as it can be adjusted to get to various heights in small increments. These scaffolds range in height, some only a couple floors tall while others climb several stories.

As mast climbers don’t require a significant amount of space at the base of the structure, they are ideal for projects with limited ground area.

11. Shoring Scaffolding

Shoring scaffolding is a system that supports the ceilings, walls and trenches (shoring). They are designed to be able to mechanically telescope to about twice their shortest length in order to span a wide variety of spaces.

Whenever is a concrete slab for a building floor, the concrete almost certainly poured on top of a form in order to hold the liquid concrete until it changes into a solid that can support itself. Most often the structure underneath consists of scaffolding.

Spar Steel standard quality product materials and scaffolding services which meet OSHA, ARAMCO, Adnoc, Enoc, UAE and SABIC specification, and testing are:

A. Spar Steel Scaffolding Products

  • Pipes & Tubes: HR (Black), Galvanized (Hot-Dip) or Pre-galvanized types Round Tubes, Square Tubes, Rectangular Tubes, ERW pipe…
  • Cuplock Systems: Vertical Standard (Open End), Ledger (Horizontal), Intermediate

            Transom (Horizontal)

  • Ringlock Systems: Ledgers, Braces, Hop Up Bracket, Base Collar…
  • Tube and Fittings: Galvanised Iron Scaffolding Tubes, Double Coupler, Swivel Coupler, Putlog Coupler, Grider-Coupler, Board Retaining Clamp, Toe Board Couplers, Sleeve Coupler, Ladder Clamp, Rocking Or Swivel Base Plate, Adjustable U Head Jack, Scaffolding Ladder Beams, Scaffolding Ladders, Heavy Duty Self-Closing Scaffolding Gate, Scaffolding Base Plate, Adjustable Base Jack…
  • Scaffolding Steel Boards/Plank: Lvl Wooden Scaffold Board, Steel Boards without

            Hooks, Steel Boards with Hooks…

B. Spar Steel Scaffolding Services

  • Contract Scaffolding Services: Construction and plant maintenance in Oil & Gas and Petrochemical sector
  • Hire and Sales: With the i-Hire Inventory Management System and control the movement of the equipment throughout the different branches and client Projects around KSA.
  • Scaffolding Design & Inspection: conforming to various standards viz. British, European, and American, Australian, Saudi Aramco, and other the Middle East client/project specifications.
  • Coil Slitting Services
  • Tube Conversion Services
  • Manpower/Training Supply:
    • Manpower— On short term and long-term basis for their requirements during Turn around, shutdowns, operation, maintenance, construction and contracting etc.
    • Training— Basic Awareness, Intermediate, & Advanced Scaffolding Training…

     Support Services

  • Design – Specialized Access Scaffold.
  • Design – Formwork & Falsework
  • In House Scaffolding Training
  • Health and Safety Training

Moreover, by keeping the safety and security of scaffolds structure and workers, scaffolding customers should not compromise with the kinds and quality of scaffolding products and services used in scaffolding

Locations for Spar Group Scaffolding Products & Services

For Spar Steel quality scaffolding products and services based on OSHA, Saudi Aramco, and Adnoc, Enoc, UAE safety standard and rules, clients can contact on the following addresses given below:

1.    RAK – UAE

SPAR STEEL INDUSTRIES LLC
PO Box 37374, Plot No. P111,
Al Ghail Industrial Park,
Ras Al Khaimah, UAE

Tel: +971 7258 9988
Fax: +971 7228 1737
Email: info@sparsteel.com
Website: www.sparsteel.com

2.    DUBAI – UAE

SPAR TRADING LLC
PO Box 15188,
815 F – Ibn Battuta Gate Offices,
Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai,
United Arab Emirates

Tel: +971 549 985054
Tel:: +971 455 78125
Email: uae@sparindustries.com

3.    JUBAIL- KSA (H O)

ARABIAN SPAR CO. LTD
King Abdullah Road, After Flyover, Behind KPS 33
Post Box -1396, Al- Jubail – 31951,
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Tel : +966 (13) 3619096, +966 (13) 3627320
Fax: 966 (13) 3618032
Email: info@arabianspar.com

4.    RIYADH KSA

ARABIAN SPAR CO. LTD
PO Box 4424, Ring Road, Exit-22,
Faryan Street, Riyadh-14515
Saudi Arabia

Mobile: +966 533762893
Tel: +966 11 2044947
Fax: +966 11 2044947
email: info@arabianspar.com

5.    FACTORY

SPAR SCAFFOLDING FACTORY
Near Riyadh and Saudi
Fransi Bank Behind KPS 33
Al Jubail KSA
Tel : +966 (0)13-3627320

6.    UK

SPAR SCAFFOLDING LTD.
Suite No. 2, Frendown, Wooderford Road,              London England, E18 2 ED
             Tel: +971 7258 9988

works.

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