Sheeting and shoring are typically used at construction sites in order to provide temporary support of soil and existing structures. A variety of materials and methods are available depending upon the space available, magnitude of forces, and the criticality of the area being shored.
A common method uses soldier piles and timber lagging. The soldier piles are typically I-beams driven down below the excavation pit to provide passive soil resistance. Lagging is slid between the piles. Where the depth of the piles below excavation is not sufficient by itself to provide lateral stability, diagonal steel supports called rakers may be employed. Horizontal members known as wales or walers are used to distribute the loads between the raker support points.
Sheeting consists of complete systems of shoring driven or vibrated into the soil with no lagging required. However, the same principals of structural stability apply, so that rakers and walers may be necessary.
Both geotechnical and structural analysis are required in the design of shoring. An initial analysis will allow determination of the ideal type of system to be used. Once that system is selected, additional analysis is required to determine various design parameters such as soldier pile sizes, depth, and spacing; waler sizes; raker sizes, locations, and angles; and kick-block configurations to support the rakers. Hybrid systems may be employed where justified by conditions.
Because installation of shoring must be performed in stages and coordinated with excavation and construction, successive analyses are required to ensure structural stability and safety at every phase. The same is true for reconfiguration of the shoring system during construction operations as well as, ultimately, removal of the shoring system.
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