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Why Leading Contractors Prefer System Scaffolding Over Frame and Brace

System scaffolding vs Frame and brace

Selecting the right scaffolding type can cut costs by reducing the time to erect and dismantle scaffolds while minimizing your equipment overhead by being multi-functional. But how do you identify the right type? To answer that, we compare two of the most common types – frame and brace and system scaffolding.

We consider four aspects of scaffolding and which projects each type of scaffolding is best suited for, and explain why system scaffolding is becoming the preferred choice of leading contractors.

A recap: Frame and brace and system scaffolding

Frame and brace

Frame and brace, also known as sectional scaffolding, is common on residential projects and many commercial job sites in North America and parts of Europe. Composed of metal tubing, it has a square frame configuration with cross braces running along every bay.

While relatively simple, frame and brace excels at being fast to plan and erect when it is used in straightforward applications like pedestrian overhead protection and façade access.

System scaffolding

System scaffolding, also known as modular scaffolding, utilizes vertical, horizontal, and diagonal posts and tubes to create flexible scaffolding to suit many types of projects. Styles of system scaffolding include ringlock, pin lock, cuplock and kwikstage, as well as proprietary types like HAKI, Safway Systems, Turner OCTO, and more.

Though slightly slower to erect piece-for-piece than frame and brace scaffolding, system scaffolding has exceptional flexibility and ease of use that drives its steadily increasing popularity.

Four ways system scaffolding beats frame and brace

Greater accessibility for congested areas

System scaffolding can be used for large projects and is highly efficient in congested spaces with obstacles. Frame and brace is common in fixed rectangular bays and presents difficulties when positioning around obstacles and in confined spaces.

System scaffolding is apt for reaching odd-shaped or circular structures such as domes and power plant interiors. Ringlock scaffolding, for example, is a suitable solution for curved surfaces.

System scaffolding is also the superior choice for hanging scaffolds from rooftops, pipe racks, bridges, and other elevated areas, in many cases providing a much more cost-effective means of access versus building up from the ground.

Easier storage and transporting

While easy enough to stack on a truck or in the yard, frame and brace has bulky frames that make efficient storage or carry-in of equipment to indoor spaces more difficult. In contrast, system scaffolding consists of linear tubes and smaller accessories, enabling flexible truck loading and greater ease of material handling when scaffolds are erected far from the nearest delivery gate or drop-off point.

Specialized components for improved safety

Each system scaffolding style has specific components designed to improve safety. These are specialized accessories like integrated or locking toe boards, deck liftoff preventers, and secure guardrail standards (also known as “crazy legs”). For example, with the Ringlock system, a single rosette sits at the core of all its components. With a rosette every 500 mm (19.5”), workers have a tie-off point almost anywhere they need one.

Effective for rigging and shoring

System scaffolding is more versatile for two types of activities that access contractors consult on – rigging and shoring.

Rigging is used mainly to push, hoist, lift, or pull objects in construction sites. System scaffolding plays an important role in providing custom rigging solutions for swing stages and other suspended access. Ringlock and cuplock, for example, are two common system scaffolding types in rigging for suspended scaffolds. Ringlock is also useful for crane lifting with adaptations to base jack retention and coupling pins.

System scaffolding is popular for shoring as it can create a wide range of shoring solutions supporting significant loads. Ringlock scaffolding is a top choice in shoring as in the Urbina Shoring System. Cuplock is also a popular choice for shoring and formwork scaffolds. It is ideal for use under slabs with different heights and structure systems.

Visualize Scaffold Designs in Minutes, Whichever System Scaffold You Choose

Whichever system scaffolding type you choose, using a scaffold design software program gives you the upper hand in visualizing your designs.

One of the key advantages of Avontus Designer® is its vast library of scaffolding manufacturers. Users can instantly import parts and components from a multitude of system scaffold styles like ringlock, cuplock, and kwikstage as well as proprietary types like HAKI, Safway Systems, and OCTO. Easily add any component you can think of, from ladders and swing gates to mesh guards and connector bays. You can even add custom configurations like independent bays, cantilevers, and bridges with a few mouse clicks.

A Proven Solution

Rendering detailed 3D models in Avontus Designer helped family-owned scaffold and shoring systems company, CSI, beat out the competition. Designer-created models give customers a clearer picture of what the scaffolds will look like on site. Jeremy Trask, the company’s Director of Safety believes Avontus Designer was a key element to winning the Disneyland Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge theme park project.

Avontus Designer also helped Tennessee Scaffolding win bids. The software cut down on costly delays by helping customers visualize the scaffold structures. Chief Administration Officer, Sean Harrison, says that with Designer, “All you need is your imagination”. Even someone without AutoCAD expertise can use it, thanks to its user-friendly interface.

Image: One of Tennessee Scaffolding’s 3D system scaffolding designs, used for swing stage rigging.

No matter which system scaffolding style you choose, Avontus Designer is the preferred choice for scaffold design software. Take the next step in design evolution.

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