Life in China 2016: A Picture A Day, July 16 – In Eastern China, cities have been growing rapidly since the early 80’s. It’s amazing how fast a building can go up! Watching the construction looks a little different than in the Western world because generally, bamboo scaffolding is used. It takes the bamboo 3-4 years to reach the maturity used for scaffolding. The bamboo is hollow, so although it is very strong, it is also flexible, which is great for an area prone to typhoons! Because the bamboo is lighter weight, it can be put up and taken down much faster than steel, and pieces can be cut much easier for special sizes. And, bamboo is only a tenth of the cost of steel. Today, the bamboo scaffolding is tied together with nylon or plastic strips. The men who assemble bamboo scaffolding, called “bamboo scaffolders,” are nicknamed “spiders” and their profession is a highly respected one because of the skill needed for the job. Here are a couple of good 3 to 4 minute You Tube videos about bamboo scaffolding in Hong Kong. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vwDIS_3RqxY
The pictures are, starting with the large one and going clockwise: A building in the next town, Dalingshan, with scaffolding up for maintenance work, a worker who looks like he’s polishing some metal on the same building, a pile of bamboo waiting to be assembled, close-up of how the poles are tied together, and the last one is actually steel scaffolding around one of the villas where we live.