How do you prevent your building from collapsing? By shoring. Excavation is one of the popular shoring methods that was developed in the early stages. Deep excavation is supported by shoring post to prevent unexpected accidents in the project. Shoring is different from retaining a wall. It is needed to support excavation with a 1.25m difference in levels. The soil type determines if shoring is needed.

Different shoring types should be used according to the construction project that the structural engineer is working on. You need to have all the facts on all types of shoring and make a decision on which one you will use as you design your project. To aid in your decisions as an engineer below is a list of the various types of shoring and their use.

Secant Pile Shoring

Secant pile shoring is constructed by dividing two combined piles with the main pile connecting each other to create an unbroken wall. The guide beam is constructed first before installation to maintain the alignment.


This type of shoring is best used when there is limited space due to neighboring structures that are too close.

Contiguous Pile Shoring

This is also known as Tangent pile shoring. Contagious pile shoring has its piles closely together. Just like the secant pile shoring, a guide beam is constructed before installation.


It is best for areas where the pressure of water is minimal or water is not important that much. Contiguous pile shoring is recommended in clay soils that retain dry fills. You can prevent seepage between the spaces of the pile by using grout that forms a water-tight wall.

H or I Beam Shoring

This type of shoring is called Soldier pile wall and it is constructed depending on the soil type. You have the option to use prefabricated steel H or drill soil first using I sections. To construct the shoring wall and have a fully formed wall, install a concrete panel in between steel beams.


H or I beam shoring is used to support excavation which has a depth range from 1.3 meters to 5 meters. It is okay to go more than 5 meters but your design should hold the surge load along its circumference.

Diaphragm Wall

The diaphragm wall is flexible because the design considers which type of load has to be resisted. The reinforcement of its concrete is designed purposely for the loads being resisted. It can be used for permanent or temporary retaining walls.


Diaphragm walls are best used for deep excavating tunnels and basements that are too deep.

Sheet Pile Shoring

A sheet pile shoring method is constructed using a Vibro hammer that drives into the ground the prefabricated steel section that is Z or U. A full wall is formed when the sheet piles are connected.


It is commonly used in constructing harbors and ports. It is used to isolate the excavation from water bodies specifically on a seaside.


To sum up, there are various types of shoring and their uses but those five are the most common types. Shoring has many uses like enlarging walls or repairing cracked walls. For you to note, if the unstable structure’s support gets weak and it starts to give way, it won’t take long for the shoring to cave in too.

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David Killelea graduated from Columbia University and currently works as an investment department manager for an international bank. He has his own ideas about the business dealings of international banks and the risks of investments. He is more than willing to share what he knows.


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