Being a major part of site preparation, excavations can either make or break the stability of your future build. This means that before you commence any form of excavation work, you must have a clear map of underground utilities: cables, pipes, etc. You must also test the soil, get a geotechnical report if required and conduct a site evaluation. Once those tasks are complete, you are able to determine what excavation support method may be required, and which safety measures best suit your project.
A battered wall is ‘any kind of wall that has been built with an intentional slope’, meaning that the sides are self-supporting. When the ground is stable, the excavated slope is safe. However, suppose the stability of the ground is compromised for some reason, due to heavy rains or flooding, etc. In that case, appropriate control measures need to be conducted, such as temporarily suspending work or providing ground support and/or shoring products before the project can continue. Battering requires far more material to be excavated than shoring and can lead to larger labour and machine hire costs on your project.
Benching refers to a series of steps cut into the vertical surface of an excavation; these steps act as a safeguard against sites collapsing and sliding. Benching is traditionally done at a 2:1 length-height ratio to achieve the required level of stability, but just like battering, it requires more time excavating and can lead to your labour and machinery hire costs blowing out.
Shielding/shoring can sometimes be seen as interchangeable terms, but they are slightly different. Shielding refers to a system put in place (often a shoring box) that isn’t fully expanded and braced against the material of the excavation. Shielding acts as more of a safeguard against a potential collapse rather than an actual preventative measure as it isn’t loaded against the soil it sits within, but it still serves a very similar role to shoring.
Shoring is the act of supporting an excavation by using a solution or product that braces against the sides of the excavation it supports to retain the soil. The most common method of shoring is through using a shoring box (sometimes referred to as a trench, drag or manhole box) which comes in a number of different shapes, sizes and base materials, all of which we stock and hire out at Shore Hire. On large scale or unique applications, sheeting & framing can be an ideal shoring solution which we also offer.
Take a look at this video which shows the different excavation methods in progress:
If you want to learn more about the above or find out what products and services we can offer to help you drive safety and efficiency, then get in touch today.