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Shoring is the temporary support of excavations during construction to allow work to be carried out safely. It is mainly done so that specific areas in danger of collapsing stay sturdy and keep their shape for the time being. There are various shoring methods used for different applications. This article will discuss 5 common types of shoring used in construction projects: soldier pile shoring, sheet pile shoring, diaphragm wall shoring, secant pile shoring, and braced excavation shoring.

Soldier Pile Shoring

When remembering what each of these is, think of it this way. What do you imagine when you think of soldier piles? It is quite literally in its name. Soldier piles are vertical steel beams inserted into the ground before excavation to support shoring walls and bracing systems. Soldier pile shoring involves driving or drilling soldier piles into the ground, then installing lagging or stabilizing bracing between the piles. The soldier piles provide vertical support, while the bracing or lagging prevents soil and rocks from falling behind the wall. Professionals suggest that while you take up shoring during construction or damage control, soldier pile shoring requires stable soil conditions and is often used for retaining walls and foundation support.

Sheet Pile Shoring

Sheet piles are interlocking steel sheets driven into the ground to form a retaining wall. Sheet pile shoring uses interlocking sheets to contain soils and allow excavation. Several methods for installing sheet piles include driving, drilling, jetting, and vibrating. Sheet piles can be easily removed after the completion of construction work. They are usually used for smaller projects as compared to the other types. However, they require very stable soil conditions to support the walls effectively. Sheet pile shoring is popular for applications like bulkheads and seawall waterfront structures.

Diaphragm Wall Shoring

Diaphragm walls use reinforced concrete panels installed in sequence around the perimeter of an excavation site before excavation begins. Panels are cast on-site and lowered into position as a slurry-filled trench is excavated. The concrete panels form an impenetrable barrier and support the surrounding soil. Diaphragm wall shoring allows for the excavation of deep basement levels and is not affected by obstacles like existing foundations. However, it requires specialized equipment and careful construction and is more time-consuming than other methods. However, that also means they usually produce the sturdiest results! In this case, it is also obvious that such equipment is only recommended for professional use, and you must refrain from trying it out in your backyard simply because you are feeling creative.

Secant Pile Shoring

Secant pile shoring utilizes intersecting reinforced concrete piles installed around an excavation before digging begins. Primary piles are installed first; secondary piles are constructed to intersect the primary piles. The piles form a wall supporting the soil. Secant pile walls provide impermeable support for deep excavations. They require concrete tremie pipes to pour piles underwater in wet or unstable soil conditions. Secant pile shoring is often used for projects like deep basements, underground parking garages, and infrastructure works. That is because they are more likely to work under harsh conditions like underground work. They can also tolerate disturbances like a mall that might still be used while underground parking is being constructed.

Braced Excavation Shoring

Braced excavation shoring systems use steel beams, pipes, or hydraulic shoring jacks installed within an excavation to support the walls. The bracing is anchored to the soil beyond the excavation depth to provide lateral support. Bracing must remain in place until permanent structures are built. Braced excavation shoring is a versatile method used for many applications but requires extensive installation and removal of bracing components, making it time-consuming. It is mainly used for railroad, highway, and underground construction projects.


In summary, many types of shoring are used to support excavations in construction safely. The appropriate method depends on soil conditions, excavation depth, and project requirements. When properly installed, the various shoring techniques allow for stable temporary support of excavations so work can be completed. It makes the whole process far safer, more efficient, and more professional than it would’ve been without their usage. Refrain from getting too handsy; try to use one of these yourself. Before you get too excited, please remember that most companies with licenses can buy and use such equipment safely.


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