Used shoring props and scaffolding: discover the "all inclusive" GBM service.     Gianmarco Massolari

Inspection, maintenance, sorting, cataloging, storage ... Purchasing used building material may lead to unsuspected problems. GBM knows how to solve all of them.

Second hand props and scaffoldings: discover GBM's "all inclusive" service

While using conventional formwork in a high rise type structure once one floor is complete, the contractor must then complete all of the vertical elements (cores and columns) before he can begin work on the formwork for the next floor slab. The cores in modern buildings can be complex and consume more time than columns and shear-walls, thus the core is blocking the start of work on the slab. If for example the core takes five days to cast and then the slab takes another five, then it’s a full ten days before the cycle can begin again.

ID15 is a stacking tower made by  German manufacturer Hunnebeck. The system is a closed framed shoring comprising of 6 basic components which form into a tower with plan area of 1m squared and can be adjusted to any design height up to 30m and has a maximum carrying capacity of 200kN per tower.

Although most manufacturers would say that their objective is to create the perfect scaffolding system, few will ever expect to reach this goal, as the perfect scaffolding does not exist. The best that can be achieved is to design the optimum scaffolding for any given circumstances and location, and that itself may even be difficult given the subjective nature of any judgment.

Used Scaffolding can work just as well as brand new kit as long as it is maintained properly, so it is not surprising that there is an enormous market for good second hand equipment. For many, buying used equipment offers great savings against new, or for others a chance to lever available funds for additional equipment. Used equipment comes from a variety of sources both industry and private and can be available locally or even from another jurisdiction.

Scaffolding should always be erected by a trained and competent person. With the availability of many proprietary modular systems on the market there is a belief in some quarters that the systems are so simple that even unskilled workers with no experience or training can safely erect a scaffolding. This view is completely incorrect. Inexperienced operatives are likely to injure themselves and improperly constructed scaffolding can cause catastophic accidents.

The activities of formwork and scaffolding are often grouped together under the general umbrella term of ‘temporary works’, but the industry approach to these two related fields is extremely different. These two activities share a number of functional and physical similarities, but the distinction is that scaffolding is traditionally taken to mean 'access scaffolding' and is concerned with supporting work platforms, while formwork is the generic term used to describe pretty much any temporary structure used to support concrete until it sets.

Double height slabs are common in commercial buildings and large public areas, as high ceilings are appropriate for these crowded places. Although desirable from an architectural stand point, forming these slabs which are typically 5-6m high, can be an additional headache for the contractor.

The humble prop is one of the most important components used in modern construction. For centuries we have used temporary structures to support elements of, or buildings under construction until they are sufficiently advanced to support themselves. We see numerous examples throughout the years where the Egyptians, the Romans and the Chinese all used falsework systems to support structures such as arches while under construction.

Given the high cost of formwork and scaffolding it is surprising that contractors don’t do more to safe-guard their assets. Temporary works equipment can account anywhere between 2-10% of the total construction costs (depending on the structure) and while contractors negotiate hard for the best prices when buying, after the equipment gets to site, it rarely gets the care it deserves