Brian's House Building Blog

Different Types of Scaffolding Used in High-Rise Construction

by Peyton Sanders

Today's buildings are built taller and taller, with the safety standards for working at height becoming increasingly stricter. 

Scaffolding equipment has advanced over the years to meet the stringent safety requirements for modern high-rise building construction. Construction companies or contractors looking to build or work on tall buildings can use the following types of scaffold systems to keep their workers safe.

Steel scaffolding

This type of scaffolding is the primary choice for the construction of high-rise buildings.

As buildings get taller, workers require stronger scaffolding systems to ensure their safety. Steel scaffolding systems provide a level of strength that non-steels such as timber and aluminium cannot beat. As a result, they are better suited to the construction of super-tall buildings. 

Although the upfront cost of steel scaffolding is higher, it lasts longer and has more salvage value. Therefore, it's economical over the long term.

Cantilever scaffolding

While steel scaffolding is the industry standard for high-rise construction, it may not be possible to use it in every situation. That's where cantilever scaffolding comes in.

In general, cantilever scaffolding, also known as needle scaffolding, is suitable for use in the following situations:

  • When the ground isn't strong and stable enough to support the weight of standard scaffolding.
  • If the use of standard scaffolding would adversely affect traffic control on the construction site.
  • When there's a need to build walls at a very great height.

In this type of scaffolding, the entire working platform is supported by 'needles,' projected out via holes in the wall. These needles prevent the need to anchor scaffolding directly on the ground.

Suspended scaffolding 

To work on tall buildings safely, it may be necessary to suspend the working platform from the top of the building using wire ropes or chains. This especially rings true for jobs like exterior painting, which require working from the top of the building down to achieve the best results.

The use of wire ropes or chains makes it possible to raise and lower the working platform, allowing workers to get the job done quickly.

Working on high-rise buildings increases safety risks for construction workers. For this reason, a greater level of care is required when choosing scaffold systems for such jobs. The good news is that scaffolding is available for virtually any size project.

Contact a contractor for more information about scaffolding. Keep in mind that you may require a combination of different scaffold types to maximise the safety of your construction crew.