Shoring with Pipe Jacks and Steel Beams

Shoring with Pipe Jacks and Steel Beams

The term shoring applies to building temporary support where the original support has been removed. In the construction industry, shoring is used to support structures that are undermined, as well as excavated ground where a portion of the soil has been removed. This blog post will cover the different types of shoring systems available and which type of system might be best for a particular situation.

Shoring systems for buildings

Often in the process of renovating a building, a builder may need to remove certain load bearing structures, such as walls, beams or part or all of the building’s foundation. This requires that the remainder of the building be supported temporarily until the permanent structures are built.

Shoring is a highly specialized operation, and it requires not only engineering knowledge, but also substantial experience and specialty equipment. For temporary support of larger buildings, steel frames positioned on temporary foundation are constructed. When a building is being completely undermined, such as when a foundation is replaced, the building is placed on cribs, beams and steel structures. If only a localized section of a building needs to be shored, there are a variety of hydraulic and mechanical jacks available.

Shoring for Underground Victorian Garage Using Steel Frames Positioned on Temporary Foundation

Shoring for Underground Victorian Garage Using Steel Frames Positioned on Temporary Foundation

Older buildings often move out of plumb and square position because they have sustained settlement or earthquake shocks. By using the appropriate shoring, a builder can level the building and, with the aid of chains and pulley assemblies, bring the building back into a plumb position. Advanced laser technology can ensure that the building becomes completely plumb and level.

Shoring systems for excavated ground

Often, during excavation operations, such as removing a section of a hillside, the remaining soil needs to be outfitted with temporary shoring until new retaining walls are built.

Shoring excavated ground for soil retention is a highly specialized operation that requires engineering knowledge as well as substantial experience. How and to what extent the ground needs to be shored is very dependent on soil properties. Every type of soil presents its own set of unique challenges: sandy soil, rocky soil or expansive clay. The grade of the hillside, the type of permanent retaining wall that is designed and the available access for equipment also need to be taken into consideration.

Examples of shoring mechanisms that are commonly used to shore excavated ground are: soldier pile and lagging, soil nails & shotcrete, and pressure grouting.

Soldier pile and lagging holds soil in place by using vertical steel piles with horizontal lagging (heavy wood boards, steel or concrete panels) to line the sides of the excavation. H-piles are drilled or driven at regular intervals along the excavation perimeter, and lagging is inserted as the excavation proceeds. The lagging resists the load of the retained soil and transfers it to the piles.

Soil nails & shotcrete is often used on excavated soil where high unsupported cuts are produced. Bars are installed at regularly spaced points across the slope face and then reinforced with soil nail head plates. Flexible reinforcing mesh may be also held against the soil face beneath the head plates for extra strength.

Soil Nails & Shotcrete holds excavated soil

Soil Nails & Shotcrete holds excavated soil

Pressure grouting or chemical grouting is a method used for stabilizing clean sand. It involves the injection of ultra fine cement or chemicals to bind the sand and prevent it from sloughing off during excavation.

Ideally, the shoring used for soil retention, the configuration of the retaining wall, and the drainage and waterproofing systems should be designed together for optimum results and cost effectiveness.

If you would like to learn more about shoring systems and what might work best for your next project, please contact SteelCore Builders.


About SteelCore Builders

As a division of Trush Construction Company, the SteelCore Builders crew and management have been doing structural concrete and strengthening since 1987. Due to our firm’s extensive engineering expertise and exceptional reputation, we are often retained to undertake very difficult and complex projects. Our continuous research and testing of new building materials and technologies enable us to address unique situations that other firms cannot.