W02_SJP_Bamboo Scaffolding

Issue Identification and Appraisal

Living in South East Asia has it advantages, but at times some issue raises it’s self that is against what we ‘know’ in the west. Recently, we decided to do some renovations at our old house and one of the tasks was repainting the inside and outside. While the inside is a relatively easy task, the outside presented a challenge to the local painters as the eaves height is around 5 meters. Our local tradesman (two ‘reputable’ painters) determined that their mode of access was to be ladders. Immediately, I advised this was unacceptable and unsafe, and they should consider alternatives i.e. scaffolding and to go away and provide quotes covering a safe option.


Feasible Alternatives & Analysis

Both painters returned, providing similar strategies; use Bamboo scaffolding. Tasking myself to research more as I was accustomed to steel scaffolding that every job site I had ever worked in used. The feasible alternatives were ‘Bamboo’ or ‘Steel’. Further research revealed that bamboo had two types, traditional all bamboo or bamboo/metal mix, but it was not as common. SEAsia and China has many codes, installation and safety procedures written around this material.

Table 1 : Feasible Alternatives Analysis


Preferred Alternative

The preferred alternative by both contractors was to utilize traditional bamboo scaffolding as opposed to ladders and online research indicated they had good reason for their strategy.


Monitoring Post Evaluation Performance

The work is now complete, however during the work the successful contractor had to perform the following:

  • Daily scaffolding check, ensuring all joints were tightly bound, and all poles damage free.
  • Daily All wooden walk boards checked
  • When moved to different location, construction was checked against installation standards to ensure correct methods employed

In future, I will be more receptive to use of this material if the contractor demonstrates he can work in a safe manner.



  • Bambhava, H. D., Pitroda, J., & Bhavsar, J. J. (2013, June). A Comparative Study On Bamboo Scaffolding And Metal Scaffolding In Construction Industry Using Statistical Methods. Retrieved from http://ijettjournal.org/volume-4/issue-6/IJETT-V4I6P122.pdf
  • Bamboo or no Bamboo? | United Hoisting & Scaffolding Corp. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://unitedhoisting.com/2012/01/bamboo-or-no-bamboo/
  • Hong Kong Buildings Department. (n.d.). Guidelines on the design and construction of bamboo scaffolds. Retrieved from http://www.bd.gov.hk/english/documents/code/GDCBS.pdf
  • Occupational Safety and Health Branch Labour Department. (2014). Code of practice for bamboo. Retrieved from http://www.labour.gov.hk/eng/public/os/B/Bamboo.pdf



One Reply to “W02_SJP_Bamboo Scaffolding”

  1. GREAT topic Steve and you started off with the first two steps just fine…..

    You wrote up a PERFECT problem statement and you identified three feasible alternatives…. Up to this point, you have a 5 star posting…..

    BUT then you sorta lost focus…..

    Where is Step 3 Develop the outcomes and cash flows for each alternative? I should have seen either a QUANTITATIVE analysis (cost analysis) or some sort of QUALITATIVE analysis using Multi Attribute Decision Making. Next time there needs to be some sort of analysis which you missed

    And what happened to Step 4 Establishing the criteria? Safety seems to have been the issue but what about cost? time? My suggestion would be to go back and set up a Multi-Attribute Decision making model http://www.planningplanet.com/guild/gpccar/managing-change-the-owners-perspective Figures 8-14

    Step 5 was also weak. You told us you did research but you offered no qualitative or quantitative proof of that research…?? For the future, do NOT combine steps 3, 4 and 5 like you did. Keep them separate.

    Step 6 was OK but without any proof to back up your OPINION, all you produced was an UNSUPPORTED OPINION, when what we want to get to are DECISIONS BASED ON FACTS.

    Step 7 was OK and is acceptable but if you had done steps 3, 4 and 5 you would have more criteria to follow up on.

    Bottom line- I really hate to do this to you but I am going to REJECT this posting and ask that you do it OVER again but this time I expect you to REPOST it as W2.1 and NOT delete or over-write this one. I want to be able to see a “Before” and “After” so that I and others can learn from your mistakes.

    Dr. PDG, Jakarta


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