When a building is erected, scaffolding is used to provide external structural support for both the building-in-progress and the people working on it. Materials, such as metal piping or tubing, are often used as the back bone of scaffolding, in addition to couplers and boards. Regardless of material, however, scaffolding must adhere to European standards for performance requirements and structural design methods. Because scaffolding must be compatible with a wide array of buildings and structures, there are numerous kinds of scaffolds to meet specific building requirements.
However, all scaffolding is comprised of the same basic elements, though the manner in which they are designed and the way such elements fit together can vary.