Scaffolds are essential to masonry construction, providing masons with safe and convenient access to their work. On tall buildings, though, the cost of scaffolding can be a significant portion of the contract price. This cost can be reduced by using suspended scaffold systems designed specifically for masonry construction. HOW THEY WORK Suspended scaffolds for masonry construction are work platforms, suspended by wire ropes from outrigger beams that are anchored above. Masonry scaffolds typically use multipoint suspension, with a wire rope and hoist on the building side and the outside of each frame. Multipoint suspension increases the load capacity and the stability of the scaffold. SUSPENDED SCAFFOLDS USUALLY ARE RENTED Suspended scaffolds for masonry work are rarely, if ever, purchased from a supplier. Rental agreements are far more common. The rental agreement usually includes not only the scaffold, hoists, and wire rope, but also the outrigger beams and anchoring system. The scaffold supplier installs the equipment, moves the outrigger beams to higher floors as necessary during the job, and removes the equipment when the project is completed. WHEN TO USE THEM Opinions vary on the height a building needs to be to make suspended scaffolds cost-effective. Some manufacturers say a suspended scaffold is worth considering on any building taller than about 100 feet or 10 stories. Above 150 feet, using a suspended scaffold is almost always more cost-effective.