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When designing scaffolds at IDH we have to identify what they are going to be used for. In order to design the scaffold, gantry, birdcage or bridging etc, we need to first identify the load it will carry.

Normally we would expect the Main Contractor to advise what his requirements are but TG 20: Table 1 and BS5975:2008 has identified a number of typical building operations undertaken from scaffolds and the loads these scaffolds should be designed for.

Class Activity Live Load
Inspection & Very Light Duty Inspection, painting, light cleaning & light access 0.75 kN/m2
Light Duty Plastering, stone cleaning, glazing, pointing & construction access 1.50 kN/m2
General Purpose 1 General building work, brickwork, window fixing and rendering 2.0 kN/m2
Heavy Duty Masonry work, concrete blockwork, heavy cladding and demolition 3.0 kN/m2
Public Access Public Areas, public bridges & walkways 5.0 kN/m2

To many people the engineering term kN (kilo newton) is confusing – put simply it is a mass.

1 kN = 100 kg so,

1 kN/m2 = 100kg in every available square metre of space at the same time.

What does this mean in real terms?

Extracted from Where’s Wally 2012 Scaffolders Design manual.

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