Scaffolding is one of those things that people encounter everyday but do not pay too much attention to. It seems like every church spire, building site or refurbishment project needs scaffolding and it looks like a large Meccano set made of aluminium poles. Over time scaffolding has become an important aspect of the construction trade, enabling workmen the ability to work at heights with the reassurance that they are on a solid platform.
Scaffolding has given the building trade a platform system that improves safety, especially on larger projects. The nature of how it is assembled by hand has also led to manufacturers and users of various scaffolding systems to push the boundaries of what is possible and try to set and break world records. For others scaffolding has enabled them to break other long standing world records through given them height and stability. Below are six of the best world records held because of scaffolding.
6. The world’s tallest sunflower
2015 saw one of the most coveted Guinness World Records fall, Hans-Peter Schiffer broke his own record by growing a sunflower to the impressive height of 9.17m. This could not have been achieved without his trusty scaffolding which provided him with the height to carefully maintain and support this mammoth sunflower. Hans-Peter had held the record on three separate occasions previously with sunflowers measuring 8.03m in 2009, 8.23m in 2012 and 8.75m in 2013. Scaffolding came in handy on each occasion and is a staple ingredient in growing extraordinary sunflowers.
5. The tallest scaffolding being balanced on a head
To one of the more bizarre world records. John Evans from Nottingham, England, has made a living out of balancing objects on his head. In July 2015 at Newport Pagnell Carnival, John balanced a 4 metre tall scaffolding platform on his head for a period of 13 seconds, setting a world record in the process. Having set or broken over 40 world records throughout his career, as well as being invited onto the Jay Leno show in America, this scaffolding feat was a new experience for John, who is more akin to balancing cars and tyres.
4. The most pistol squats on a scaffold pole
Another slightly abstract world record, this time coming from Italy. It is combining scaffolding with fitness and balance. Silvio Sabba is a serial World Record breaker with 247 titles to his name as of March 2015, although this one may be his most impressive. A pistol squat is a one legged squat with your other leg extended out in front, this exercise is challenging enough for most people and 10 reps is an achievement. Silvio added in a scaffold pole and aimed to complete the most pistol squats he could whilst balancing on the pole. He achieved 30 squats in a one minute period, therefore averaging one every two seconds – a hugely impressive achievement.
3. The quickest erection of 100m2 of scaffolding
Erecting 100m2 of scaffolding would ordinarily take in the region of 16 man hours, however in 1994 a two man crew from Turner Access set a world record by erecting this amount in an incredible 19 minutes and 59 seconds. This is not only a phenomenal achievement it has also pushed other scaffolding companies to improve the speed they can erect their structures. This record has recently come in for some criticism with some saying that it does not meet the current guidelines for scaffold structures and that any new record attempt has to meet these health and safety guidelines. The record for the erection of a structure that meets these guidelines currently stands at approximately 26 minutes.
2. The tallest scaffolding in the world
Whilst this is not strictly a world record that has been set or recorded, it is hugely impressive and worthy of inclusion in this list. In the Far-East most buildings are built with the assistance of scaffolding, the only difference being that the scaffolding is made of bamboo and tied with rope! These vast structures are often seen clambering onto buildings and reaching heights of more than 1600ft. I know that I would not want to be at the top hoping that my co-worker’s knot skills were up to scratch.
1. The world’s biggest ski ramp
As part of the promotion of the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics the Russian Government authorised the construction of the biggest ski ramp. The ramp was 150m long, 56m high and 37m wide, which allowed for two parallel downhill slaloms. The ramp was constructed directly outside of Moscow State University and due to the wind and amount of snow that was added on top, there was a fair amount of scaffolding required in order to keep the structure sturdy.
This article was provided by Mike James, an independent content writer in the property industry – working alongside a selection of companies including Precipitous Scaffold Hire, who were consulted over the information contained in this piece.