An Expert Guide to Shoring in Construction

Shoring is a common practice in the construction sector, being used to help with all manner of projects – most commonly groundworks. Through the use of a properly designed and installed shoring system, construction contractors can ensure they are properly supporting their work, maintaining the safety of onsite workers, as well as the integrity of the structure they’re creating. But what exactly is shoring and what options are available to contractors?  

What is shoring in construction? 

Shoring is the process where a building, structure or trench is supported with shores, or temporary buttresses, during repairs or other excavation works – like during the excavation phase of groundworks.  

The term shoring itself comes from the word shore, meaning a timber or metal prop, and it is usually a temporary solution, with a variety of methods of shoring which can be used – dependant on the situation.  


The different types of shoring methods in construction 

There are several different types of shoring that are employed by construction contractors, each bringing its own benefits to a project. 

  • H and I-beam shoring 

  • Secant pile shoring 

  • Contiguous pile shoring 

  • Raking shoring 

  • Hydraulic shoring 

  • Flying shoring 

This is not a comprehensive list, with other variations of shoring existing, making it important to consult a professional temporary works specialist before hiring or purchasing any shoring equipment.  


Why shoring is important  

So, why is shoring so important? Shoring has a key role to play in ensuring a structure doesn’t collapse whilst an excavation or other construction works are taking place on or around it. It is for this reason that shoring is used on unsafe or unstable structures, such as new building foundations or existing infrastructure that has cracks or other damage being repaired.  

Not only does shoring allow contractors to adhere to safety regulations, but it also provides peace of mind that onsite workers are safe, and that any risks are correctly and safely mitigated.  

With all of this in mind, it is imperative that when looking to use shoring solutions that experienced professionals, such as structural engineers are consulted. This ensures a thorough assessment of site conditions and the project requirements, with a trained professional able to then correctly design and specify a shoring system suitable for the needs of the site.  


Shoring equipment rental  

If you’re looking to hire shoring equipment for trenching or excavation projects, you can do so from ourselves. We offer a wide range of easy to use and lightweight solutions, ideal for minor construction works and utility maintenance in cities and other urban environments.  

See our resource brochure for more information about our shoring range or get in touch with our experienced team for any further assistance or to enquire about hiring our equipment, here.  


FAQs for Shoring in Construction

There are a range of frequently asked questions around shoring, so we’ve answered some of the most common below… 


Where is shoring required? 

Shoring is required anywhere where there is the potential of a structure or excavation collapsing. For example, a trench that has been dug to facilitate the installation of new pipework should be shored.  


When is shoring necessary in construction projects? 

Any excavation in unstable ground must be shored to stop it collapsing in and injuring those working inside.  


What are the different types of shoring systems? 

There is an extremely wide variety of shoring systems available on the market, it’s best to consult a structural engineer or other similar professional to ensure you specify the correct type for your needs.  


At what depth is shoring required? 

Officially, any trench that is 1.2 metres or deeper must be shored to stop it from collapsing in and injuring onsite workers. However, it is advisable to reinforce any trench at any depth to ensure the safety of all on site.   


How is the appropriate shoring system selected for a specific project? 

A structural engineer will visit a site and review the works being carried out to determine the correct solution needed to meet the relevant safety legislation. They can then advise on the shoring system to be used for the project, helping to design and facilitate installation if needed.  

If you would like to find out more about any of the above, contact a member of our team, here.   

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