Metal scaffolding taking hold

In a sign of maturing for Myanmar’s property market, more efficient metal scaffolding is replacing the traditional bamboo scaffolding in development projects in Yangon as buildings get higher and bamboo becomes more expensive, construction experts said.

Though it is still common to see partly constructed buildings swathed in a framework of wooden scaffolding poles tied with coconut-fibre rope, metal is proving a far safer option for contractors as it is more convenient, longer-lasting and even cheaper, said U Ko Thawdar Swe, a supervisor with local contractor Net Ray company.

“Metal scaffolding is easy to use and light to transport and it is safer than bamboo. It can be used for exterior painting as well as construction,” he said.

Erecting wooden scaffolding for a five-storey, 1200-sq-ft building takes seven workers one week, while removing the scaffolding takes two days, he said, adding that it would require 200 pieces of bamboo to get the job done at a cost of K200 each, plus K30,000 worth of coconut-fibre rope and a K150,000 charge.
“If we buy one set of metal scaffolding, it costs only K30,000, and if we hire it out we ask for only K500 per piece per day with an advance,” said Ko Thawdar Swe.

With projects getting bigger and modern development standards becoming more of an issue, metal scaffolding is increasingly used in the construction of hotels, condos and buildings higher than six storeys, he said. Bamboo has also become rarer and more expensive.

“If the bamboo is new, it is safe, but scaffolding can break if it has been used more than three times,” he said, adding that metal scaffolding can last up to 30 years if properly maintained.
U Min Aung, a supervisor with Yangon-based Kyawe Phyu construction, said that safety is also an issue when determining what kind of scaffolding to use.

“Many workers are injured or even killed when bamboo scaffolding collapses under them. Metal is preferable,” he said.

U Than Naing, a contractor with a local development firm said that most workers are not insured and would have to go out of pocket in the event of an accident, something that is difficult on a low salary.

“If there’s an accident, we get no support or life insurance. We just get daily wages,” he said.

Source: Myanmar Times

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