Scaffolding is a temporary structure that provides a safe platform for workers and materials during construction, maintenance, and repair projects. While all scaffolding includes three basic components — standards (uprights), ledgers (horizontal braces), and transoms (horizontal cross-sections) — there are several different types of scaffolding available, each type of scaffold designed for specific applications and project requirements.
The type of scaffolding you choose depends on the size and scope of the project, as well as its location, access needs, and safety requirements.
Scaffolding Frame and Sectional Scaffold
Also known as frame and brace scaffolding or baker’s scaffold, sectional scaffolding consists of vertical and horizontal frames connected together by cross braces. It is lightweight, versatile and easy to assemble and disassemble, making it a popular choice for contractors and homeowners alike. Because of its compact design, sectional scaffolding can easily fit through standard doorways and is often used indoors.
System Scaffold / Work Platform
System scaffolding, often referred to as modular scaffolding, uses prefabricated components that do not require traditional clamps and couplers to fit together. It’s known for its speedier assembly and disassembly time and higher load bearing capacity, making it ideal for use in large-scale projects such as high-rise building construction. Because of its highly engineered components, system scaffolding doesn’t require a ledger brace, so the work platform is clear and unobstructed.
Rolling Scaffold Tower
A rolling scaffold tower is exactly what it sounds like: a mobile scaffolding unit equipped with castor-style wheels. This makes it easy to move the scaffolding around the work area without having to disassemble and reassemble it. Rolling scaffold towers are ideal for projects where frequent repositioning is required, such as painting, plastering, and drywall installation. They are safer and more efficient than ladders.
Walkway Canopy / Sidewalk Canopy
A walkway or sidewalk canopy is a structure built over the sidewalk and around the exterior of a building to protect pedestrians from falling debris and other hazards. It is typically made of metal or wood and supported by scaffolding frames. These overhead protection systems are required by law in many jurisdictions.
Suspended scaffolding is a work platform hung from the top of a structure using ropes, cables, or chains. It’s ideal for working on tall buildings and is often used for tasks like window washing, painting, or high-rise maintenance.
Tube and Clamp Scaffolding
Tube and clamp scaffolding is the most versatile type of scaffolding available. It consists of steel or aluminum tubes and clamps and can be adapted to work well with complex structures of all shapes and sizes, including office buildings, bridges, access towers, and suspended platforms.
Stair Scaffold Tower / Stair Scaffolding
A stair scaffold tower, or stair scaffolding, is a scaffold structure equipped with stairs to provide access to different levels without the need for a separate ladder. Stair scaffold towers are often used for construction, renovation, and maintenance projects both indoors and outdoors. They are especially useful when working in buildings with multiple levels and staircases.