Have you ever wondered what shoring is, and how it’s used in the construction industry?

Shoring definition

What is Shoring in building construction

Shoring up meaning the process of providing additional support to a structure during the construction process. This can include anything from scaffolding to steel reinforcement. Shoring helps to keep structures stable and secure, prevent them from shifting or bowing, and reduce the risk of failure. It also helps to strengthen the overall structure and increase its ability to support heavy loads.

Shoring is an essential part of building any structure, from bridges and buildings to dams and tunnels. In this article, we’ll take a look at what does shore up means and how it’s used in construction. We’ll also discuss why it’s important, as well as some tips for choosing the right type of shoring for your project.

What Is Shoring? Defining Temporary Support Structures

Shoring is a process used in construction that involves setting up temporary structures. For supporting, bracing, and reinforcing a structure or an area until the permanent structure is built or strengthened. It typically involves propping or jacking up existing structures. Which could otherwise collapse due to loose soil, subsidence, water infiltration or other factors.

Shoring systems come in a variety of forms—from timber shoring systems to steel shoring systems. The type of shoring used depends on the project and the structural requirements.

Common shoring solutions include:

  • Heavy Timber Shoring which uses timbers of 4” x 12” in a laminated system for medium-duty applications;
  • Steel Beam Shoring which uses light-duty beams that are placed on supports or brackets to provide support;
  • Sheet Piling Shoring which uses metal sheets driven into the ground as piles to create a retaining wall; and
  • Soldier Beam Systems which use horizontal top member beams and vertical soldier piles set at close intervals between them to form a continuous wall.

Types of Shoring Used in Construction

Shoring is an integral part of the construction process, both for increasing the stability of a structure and for providing adequate support for a scaffolding system. There are several different types of shoring that can be used for different purposes.

  • Cantilever Shoring:
    Cantilever shoring is a type of shoring that uses an I-beam or other beam. To support one end while the other end protrudes beyond its supports. This type of shoring is often used in projects that require additional strength such as bridge construction and large concrete pours.
  • Deadman Shoring:
    Deadman shoring involves using a large weight to hold down one end of the shoring. While the other end is secured to another structure. This type of shoring is typically used in soil retention walls and scaffolding systems. Where there isn’t enough area for cantilever shoring.
  • Strut Shoring:
    Strut shoring is a type of temporary structural support system that uses props or struts to provide additional support to structures and foundations during construction. It can be used in applications such as basement excavation, deep foundation installations, and retaining walls.

Overall, it’s important to understand the different types of shoring available. And how they can be used in your project so you can choose the right option for your application.

Why Is Shoring Important for Construction Safety?

Shoring is an important safety measure essential to many construction projects. It is a system of temporary supports used to stabilize vertical or sloping surfaces. As well as excavations that are in progress.

Shoring helps to keep walls and other surfaces from collapsing and protects workers from hazardous conditions. It also helps support the loads placed on foundations, walls, and other structures during a construction project.

The main purpose of shoring up a building is to help prevent injury or death due to the collapse or failure of walls or other structures during excavation work and during the construction process. The proper use of shoring can help to maintain structural integrity and protect workers from falling debris.

Shoring also helps to prevent structural damage from water infiltration, weathering, wind, seismic activity, and other forces which can affect the stability of a structure during its lifetime. This type of support system is vital for ensuring that buildings remain safe for years to come.

Shoring Materials: Timber, Steel, Aluminum

When it comes to shoring, there are three main materials used in construction: timber, steel, and aluminum. Each has its own set of advantages and disadvantages.


Timber is the most traditional shoring material and its use dates back to ancient times. This type of shoring is easy to work with, cost effective, and abundant in nature. However, timber can be susceptible to decay since it’s a natural material, which is why it’s typically used for short-term applications such as ground-support during construction or repair.


Steel is a great choice for when high strength and low weight are needed in shoring projects. Steel’s strength-to-weight ratio is much higher than that of timber and it’s much more resistant to decay due to the lack of moisture absorption, making it ideal for long-term applications such as basement underpinning or tunnel excavation.


Aluminum is the lightest option available when it comes to shoring materials, making it easy to transport and erect onsite. It offers high stability under compression loads but requires specialized tools for shaping as well as careful execution and maintenance due to its low tolerance for corrosion and abrasion. It’s most often used for short-term applications such as bridge construction or large event venues where access must be provided quickly yet safely.

Installing and Dismantling Shoring Systems

Shoring systems are installed and dismantled quickly, making them the perfect option for short-term construction projects. The process involves the use of hydraulic jacks to lift the support beams into place, and then simply tightening the nuts on each beam with a torque wrench. This can be done in a matter of hours and is made easier by the fact that the jacks are mounted directly to the beams, eliminating the need for additional machinery or tools.

When it comes time to dismantle a shoring system, all that’s needed is to loosen the bolts using a torque wrench and then unmount the jacks from each beam. This process can likewise be done in a matter of hours and since it doesn’t require any heavy machinery, can be completed with minimal disruption to other construction activities.

The time saved by being able to install and dismantle shoring systems quickly contributes significantly to their widespread professional usage in areas where construction projects have tight deadlines or require quick turnaround times. The straightforward installation process makes them easy for any experienced contractor to manage, making it even more cost-effective for smaller projects.

Shoring Regulations and Standards: Ensuring Safety

Shoring is an important safety practice when building, and it must adhere to regulations and standards in order to ensure the safety of a structure. There are several shoring systems and regulations in place that contractors must follow, such as:

The International Building Code (IBC)

The IBC is the set of standards mandated by the International Code Council. It covers a range of topics related to construction safety, including shoring. The IBC outlines specific requirements for shoring designs, including installation, load testing and maintenance. For example, the code requires engineers to conduct a series of tests to make sure that the shoring system will be safe for use.

OSHA Shoring Regulations

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has issued guidelines for shoring safety as well, which includes regulations for how long workers must be protected during construction projects with tall structures or deep excavations. This includes providing access points along the ladder rungs so workers can more easily ascend or descend the ladder.

Other regulations from OSHA include creating guardrails around any openings where personnel could fall more than 4 feet (1.22 m), preventing objects from falling on personnel working in an excavation, as well as providing exit routes and escape ladders in case there is a need to evacuate quickly.

By following these guidelines, contractors can help ensure that their work sites are safe and compliant with all state and federal laws.


All in all, shoring is an essential aspect of construction. It supports the weight of structures and walls, and helps create stronger foundations for the build. It is used in a variety of projects, from large-scale projects such as bridges and skyscrapers, to smaller residential builds.

When it comes to choosing the right shoring system for a project, there are a variety of factors to consider. It is important to assess the weight of the structure and its load-bearing capacity, as well as the terrain and local soil conditions. With the right system in place, you can ensure that your construction project is safe, secure and structurally sound.