The Physical Sciences Building Ashley Campbell | Alma Crawford-Mendoza | Sonali khanna

Site Plan

Observation: In the photo on the upper left, the scaffolding and ladders have been installed. The scaffolding is the orange metal piping that crisscrosses up the side of the building.

Observation: In the photo on the upper right, a sheet metal roof has been installed with a light frame system of steel members.

Observation: In the below left photo, the scaffolding and light-frame construction is visible. On the roof, a railing has installed for safety reasons.

Observation: In the below right photo, the concrete foundation is visible along with the scaffolding. The wheel tracks in the dirt show excavation.


When installing windows, siding and other exterior elements, workers need access to each floor. On single story buildings ladders are usually sufficient for providing exterior access to the building, however with multistory buildings such as this one scaffolding or temporary raised platforms are installed. After the scaffolding has been installed, workers have the ability to move laterally around each floor. Though the scaffolding is more expensive than ladders the expense is balanced out by a reduction in the cost to pay the laborers.

Types of scaffolding:

Ladder Jacks: These clamp to an extension ladder, and then support another ladder or a plank between them. This type of scaffold is fast and easy to install but it does need to be moved when the worker needs to access another part of the wall. In the photo below, this worker installed ladder jacks to work on the roof trim.

Pump Jack Scaffolding: This scaffolding uses a foot-powered crank mechanism to move the scaffold up and down the wall. This allows flexibility and easy adjustment to every level the worker might require. Below, this man is using a pump jack by pushing down on the red lever with his foot.

Pipe Scaffolding: Pipe scaffolding needs to only be set up once, where the planks are fixed to the entire elevation of a building to allow access to all parts of the walls. The crisscrossing shape, otherwise known as cross-bracing stabilizes the scaffolding. The guard rails along the scaffolding prevent another safety feature, preventing workers from falling off the side. This stationary pipe scaffold is one of the most expensive types of support but it makes up for its cost with being the safest type of scaffold. The below picture shows a complex grid of scaffolding that is installed on a side of a building. This type of scaffolding is particularly useful with tall buildings, and skyscrapers.

Scaffolding Components

The above diagram depicts each component that makes up pipe scaffolding. The pipe tubing is typically made from steel or aluminum. The tubes come in a variety of lengths and widths.

Couplers are the fittings which hold the tubes together. The most common are called scaffold couplers, and there are three basic types: right-angle couplers, putlog couplers and swivel couplers. To join tubes end-to-end joint pins or sleeve couplers are used. Only right angle couplers and swivel couplers can be used to fix tube in a 'load-bearing connection'.

Most companies will adopt a specific color to paint the scaffolding this creates a quick visual identification method in cases of theft.

Made with Adobe Slate

Make your words and images move.

Get Slate

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.