Saturday, 23 October 2010


Thought I'd share with you some thoughts about scaffolding - or possibly about bamboo since in Shanghai where I took this picture that is what the scaffolding is made from. Which - to our health & safety obsessed eyes at least - seems a pretty dodgy material to use during the construction of skyscrapers in an exciting modern city! But this is how it works:
In Asia today people still practice the ancient yet evidently effective method of traditional bamboo scaffolding. Workers build frames of bamboo which are durable enough to support the weight of themselves, their equipment and materials while they work. Simple as these structures may seem they are by no means limited. It is still a common sight to see these bamboo structures spanning the entire height of buildings and office blocks.
It is simply a different technique. However, Chinese studies seem to indicate that bamboo scaffolds - despite other advantages in portability, sustainability and flexibility - are inherently more risky than metal scaffolds (between 60% and 80% higher risk). As a result Chinese authorities (as well as those in Hong Kong and Taiwan) are seeking to 'phase out' the use of bamboo scaffolds.
Which would be a shame for us tourists if not for the poor construction workers!

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