The Structural Engineer > Archive > Volume 95 (2017) > Issue 2 > Temporary Works Toolkit. Part 8: Use of modular hydraulic propping systems for the temporary support
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Temporary Works Toolkit. Part 8: Use of modular hydraulic propping systems for the temporary support of deep excavations

Temporary works design is often perceived as the poor relation to permanent works design with, by definition, little or no evidence of its presence in the completed project. However, well-designed and, of course, well-executed temporary works solutions can lead to big cost savings, while providing a safe and efficient environment for the permanent works to be built. This is particularly the case with below-ground temporary works, where there are a great many challenges to be faced by a temporary works designer, who is often working right ‘at the end of the food chain’ of information flow. Soil mechanics, whether it is for a shallow trench or a deep basement, is an inexact science at best, relying heavily on engineering judgment to provide a safe, economic and practical solution.

Nowadays in the UK, the majority of below-ground temporary works support is undertaken using proprietary equipment, provided on a rental basis by specialist suppliers. Over the last 30 years, the scope of proprietary equipment has increased dramatically. In the 1980s, proprietary equipment was limited to shoring up pipe trenches and small-scale pits, which were supported with hydraulically operated aluminium waler frames or the ubiquitous manhole brace. Today, there is a huge range of equipment available to support all sizes of trench, shaft and coff erdam. It is not uncommon to see modular hydraulic struts clear-spanning over 40m.

Author(s): T. Gould (Vp plc Groundforce Shorco)