The types of construction scaffolding

The right type of construction scaffolding is essential.

The three types of scaffolding systems:

  1. Kwikstage scaffolding system
  2. Ringlock scaffolding system
  3. Tube and Coupler scaffolding system

The three different scaffolding materials:

  1. Steel scaffolding
  2. Aluminium scaffolding
  3. Fibreglass scaffolding

Scaffolding on construction sites

Scaffolding is an essential part of any construction project. It provides the platform needed to safely and efficiently complete the job.

We have three types of scaffolding available at ALTA, with three different systems in three different materials. Which one you need will depend on the job at hand.

This article will explain the types of scaffolding used in construction so you know why we would recommend one system for one job and another for another. We provide the scaffolding that is right for your job.

Why use scaffolding?

Scaffolding is a temporary structure built around or inside a building being worked on, allowing workers access to all necessary parts of the building.

In most cases, scaffolding for small and medium-sized residential jobs takes no more than a single day to erect. Large commercial or mining jobs would, understandably, take longer.  Once in place, scaffolding affords many benefits for the project, adding safety, proficiency and efficiency to each job.

Scaffolding is safer than ladders

Scaffolding is much safer for workers than ladders, standing on ad-hoc material or existing structures. Scaffolding is purpose-built to contain stable platforms and safety features such as guard-rails. This all serves to insure against injury and disaster.

Scaffolding allows access for construction workers

It allows access for construction workers to easily get to where they need to, and to then be in the best position to perform their work, with a stable platform from which to operate. The acts of painting, drilling, grinding, brickwork or plastering can now be performed from a position of strength, with feet firmly planted on flat ground, rather than the poor angle that you might get from the use of ladders.

Scaffolding makes a project more efficient

Scaffolding makes a project more efficient, as time is saved in repositioning ladders, bringing tools and supplies, and enabling workers to get back into position after a break. Scaffolding also enables several workers to work on the same task at once, enabling two-man tasks with considerable efficiency.

Three types of scaffolding ALTA uses

For a construction site that is both safer and more efficient, the right type of scaffolding is essential.

To ensure that you have the scaffolding that is right for the job, we consider three systems and choose the one that’s right for you.

Depending on the job at hand, we will choose from three different materials.

In the following section, we will explain the reasons why we use these three scaffolding systems and materials.

Three systems of scaffolding

Kwikstage scaffolding

Kwikstage scaffolding is the most common form of scaffolding utilised. It does the basics well but is not overly versatile. Kwikstage uses a ‘star system’ with attachment points built into the beams at various lengths to which you affix cross-pieces.

Kwikstage scaffolding is cheap and efficient, but limited in its versatility.

Ringlock scaffolding

Slowly gaining popularity, but very expensive, the Ringlock scaffolding system is much more versatile, enabling more braces and horizontals to be attached to the discs at each point. The most common brand of Ringlock system comes from a German company called Layher, which is well-respected in the industry for its engineering capabilities.

Many other components are available for the Ringlock system, making the gear very versatile and enabling you to customise the scaffolding for exactly what you need on the build.

Ringlock is most commonly used in industrial settings where the price can be justified.

Tube and Coupler scaffolding

Tube and Coupler scaffolding is most commonly found in Europe, but also popular around the world.

This system of scaffolding is made up mostly of three components: steel tubes, couplers and timber boards. The use of couplers allows you to adjust where the attachment points are to be placed along the length of the beams, and lock those in place.

The fully customisable nature of a Tube and Coupler system means that it is a bit slower to work with, but is so versatile that it enables you to construct scaffolding to suit any structure and position the platforms to any height.

Scaffolding Materials

Steel scaffolding

Steel is the heavy-duty scaffolding option. Steel scaffolding weighs a lot but is sturdy, durable, can support heavier loads and is the most commonly used material across the industry mostly because it’s the cheapest, and for its durability (20+ years life expectancy).
The total weight of steel scaffolding for an average two-storey house sits around 10-13 tonne.

The weight of steel actually benefits the structural integrity of the scaffolding when you consider all the elements and possible risks onsite (high winds, forklifts/cranes hitting scaffold etc.) so adds to safety of the build.

Aluminium scaffolding

Aluminium scaffolding is light-duty. It is incredibly light itself, which makes erecting and dismantling it easier due to being not so physically demanding. It holds a surprising amount of weight and weighs around 4-6 tonne for the same two-storey project.

Aluminium scaffolding is mainly used when the weight of your scaffolding is a factor, such as when the scaffolding needs to be on wheels, or indoors, or built upon wooden decks or roofs.

The downsides are that its light weight does not offer as much structural integrity as steel, and aluminium costs around three times more to buy or hire.

Fibreglass scaffolding

Fibreglass is very light-duty, and rarely ever used except in niche projects, mainly involving electricity or chemical exposure. It is extremely expensive, and does not hold much weight, but is non-conductive and less reactive to chemicals.

Different types of scaffolding recommendations

We will recommend the scaffolding system in the right material that is right for your job. Give us the details of your job and we make sure that you get the system that is most suitable for your build in terms of safety, efficiency and budget.

ALTA Scaffolding are scaffolding expert for professionals. To make sure that you have the right scaffolding system for your next job, call us for a quote.


  • Joshua Knight

    Joshua Knight is the General Manager at ALTA Scaffolding, and has extensive experience with scaffolding hire for commercial, high-rise, residential and mining projects in the Newcastle, NSW area.

Joshua Knight

Joshua Knight is the General Manager at ALTA Scaffolding, and has extensive experience with scaffolding hire for commercial, high-rise, residential and mining projects in the Newcastle, NSW area.

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