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Last edited 11 Feb 2022
There are two main types of scaffolding:
- Freestanding scaffolds, such as Independent towers,
- Independent tied scaffolds, such as independent towers tied to an adjacent structure.
The most common piece of structure used in scaffolding is the scaffold tube (known as a standard). The tube generally comes in two thicknesses, 3.2 mm or 4 mm. The tubes are galvanised due to their exposure to the elements and axial capacity loads are given either ‘as new’ or ‘used.’ Capacities of tubes used in tension are usually limited by the safe slip load capacity of the coupler, which is far lower than the actual tensile resistance of the tube.
Scaffolding is designed for its self-weight, i.e. the weight of the boards, tubes, guardrails, toeboards, etc. and imposed loads such as wind. The imposed load applied to the scaffolding depends on its use.
Four classes of loading are available:
- Service Class 1 - 0.75 kN/m2 – Inspection and very light duty access
- Service Class 2 - 1.50 kN/m2 – Light duty such as painting and cleaning
- Service Class 3 - 2.00 kN/m2 – General building work, brickwork, etc.
- Service Class 4 - 3.00 kN/m2 – Heavy duty such as masonry and heavy cladding
The wind load applied to scaffolding will change depending on whether sheeting or debris nets are used. The magnitude of the wind load will alter the required capacity of the ties and may affect their frequency.
When scaffolding is tied to a building it uses the permanent structure of the building to provide stability. The selection of tie positions should be tested and checked before use and the suitability of the permanent structures composition to carry the ties should be analysed.
The National Access and Scaffolding Confederation (NASC) has published TG20:21, which provides the definitive guidance for scaffolding constructed with tube and fittings throughout the UK. TG20 comprises four elements; the Operational Guide, the Design Guide, the User Guide and the NASC’s innovative, user-friendly and widely-adopted eGuide software.
Up until March 2021, this bundle came only in the form of three hard copy guides and a digital download, and was titled TG20:13. TG20:13 was formally withdrawn, in favour of fully adopting TG20:21, on October 12 2021. Further information can be found here.
- Building wraps.
- Debris netting.
- Facade retention.
- How to remove scaffolding.
- How to use a ladder.
- Putlog holes.
- Roped access for conservation projects.
- Rubble chute.
- Scaffold register.
- Temporary works.
- Trench support.
- Types of crane.
- Types of scaffolding.
- Work at height.
- Work at height checklist for managers.
- Work at height regulations.
- Working platform.
 External references
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