The suspended ScaffFloat platform can offer a cost-effective and speedy solution to marine civils projects where traditional scaffolding is not viable.

“ScaffFloat has come a long way since it was launched two years ago. The system has really proved itself now and we have completed over 50 projects and provided 5,000 hours of safe floating access to contractors around the UK and abroad,” said Toby Budd, managing director of ScaffFloat.

”This suspended offering is another big step forward for the system, really exciting.”

Innovative solution

There are an estimated 15,000 structures built over the water in the UK alone, from large commercial piers and ferry terminals to thousands of rail, vehicle and footbridges over rivers, canals and other waterways.

All maintenance work requires an access system, normally a suspended scaffold, to be installed before works take place.

But the innovative ScaffFloat platform can offer several advantages to projects where traditional solutions may struggle to be viable.

The first and most significant is cost saving. It can be built to almost any size, so if a full scaffold is not necessary the ScaffFloat can offer a much lower cost access solution. Secondly, is speed, as the ScaffFloat platform can be mobilised by a four-person team, launched and lifted under the bridge in two days.

Another benefit of this system is a reduction in disruption to the top side of the bridge; this is particularly useful in city centre locations. The ScaffFloat can come ’plug and play’ with full welfare facilities and materials.

The ScaffFloat platform also has an advantage on navigable waterways where a full scaffolding structure would reduce air draft and impede navigation. This is because the ScaffFloat system can be designed to always leave sufficient space under the navigable channel for vessels to pass.

Mobile works

ScaffFloat is built offsite and transported to where it needs to be. Once afloat, the self-propelled system can make passage along the waterway to the bridge, even if this is miles from the launch site.

Once in place under the bridge, lines or anchors are used to temporarily hold station while a MEWP on deck is used to make the connections to the underside of the bridge. A hoisting system is then used to lift the platform up under the bridge together with a payload of equipment, plant, materials, and scaffold. Once in place, bracing can be applied to stop sway and the scaffold can be quickly and safely punched up from the ScaffFloat beams to give access to the top side of the bridge for contractors.

When works are complete the platform can then be lowered to the water and re-positioned, or if needed multiple platforms can be placed side by side.

Hybrids of the ScaffFloat platform can also be offered. One example would utilise an additional floating pontoon below the suspended platform that can hold and carry heavy materials to and from site, in particular blasting media and water.

Another example would be to support the installation of traditional suspended scaffold, the suspended ScaffFloat could be used to get materials to site and then the platform can be used to load out from and provide access to scaffold the underside of the bridge.