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# University of Washington

## DEPARTMENT OF Construction Management

CM 420
TEMPORARY STRUCTURES

Winter Quarter 2007

Professor Kamran M. Nemati

For mw or k f or Conc r et e

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University of Washington
Department of Construction Management
Winter Quarter 2007
Instructor: Kamran M. Nemati

CM 420 - Temporary Structures
Lesson 1:
Introduction to Concrete Formwork
and Vertical Formwork Design
Overview
The first lesson provides an overview on the basic structural wood design as it applies
to concrete formwork. This lesson covers materials, methods and techniques
associated with concrete formwork design and construction for walls (slab formwork
design will be covered in lesson 2). This lesson intends to provide enough
information to be able to design horizontal forms, which will be covered in step-by-
step fashion.
Lesson Objectives
By the end of this lesson you will be able to:
recognize the importance of temporary structures and their relationship to
permanent structures;
describe basic properties of wood and plywood;
explain design considerations for concrete formwork;
recognize the causes of failure in concrete formwork and plan to avoid them;
identify formwork components, materials, and accessories;
calculate loads on concrete formwork; and
design wall forms.
Background reading: M.K. Hurd, Chapters 1 through 4.
Essential reading: M.K. Hurd, Chapter 4: 4-1 to 4-13 and 4-32 to 4-33, Chapter
5, and Chapter 6: 6-1 to 6-16.
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NOTATIONS (used in Lessons 1 and 2)
A = Area of cross section, in.
2

ACI = American Concrete Institute
b = width of beam cross section, in.
C = allowable timber stress, psi, in compression || to grain
= deflection, in.

max
= maximum deflection, in.
E = modulus of elasticity, psi
f = allowable stress in extreme fiber in bending, psi
h = depth of beam cross section, in.
I = moment of inertia, in.
4
( 12
3
bd I = for rectangular beam)
Q Ib = rolling shear constant
L = span, ft.
l = span or length, in.
l/d = ratio of unsupported length to least dimension in compression member
(shore)
M
max
= Maximum induced bending moment, ft-lb or in.-lb as indicated
OSHA = Occupational Safety and Health Administration
S = section modulus, in.
3
, ( 6
2
bd S = for rectangular beam)
s = spacing of member, in.
v = average shearing stress, or average horizontal shearing stress, psi
V = maximum vertical shear, lb (same as end reaction for simple beam)
w = uniformly distributed load, lb per lineal ft
W = total uniformly distributed load, lb ( =wL)
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Introduction
CM 420 will deal with the materials, methods and techniques associated with
temporary structures utilized in various construction operations, such as:
concrete formwork construction;
scaffolding;
falsework/shoring;
cofferdams;
underpinning;
diaphram/slurry walls;
earth-retaining structures; and
construction dewatering.

Temporary structures are critical elements of the overall construction plan. A
temporary structure in construction affects the safety of the workers on the job and the
general public and there is also the relationship of the temporary structure to the
finished structure. Temporary structures are sometimes incorporated into the finished
work or are removed at the end of the conclusion of their usefulness. In either case
the contractor will have to deal with supervision work, code requirements, contract
and legal requirements, and perhaps disputes with others over the work being
performed. As far as design, drawings and specifications are concerned, they depend
on the temporary structure under consideration. In extremely complex jobs involving
such temporary work as cofferdams for bridge piers, the design of the temporary
structure will often be done by the designer of the permanent structure. For simpler
types of temporary structures, such as temporary ramps used by excavation contractor
for a building projects, the excavation contractor will do the design. Between these
two extremes is the type of temporary structure in which specialty contractors, who
make a business of doing a specific type of temporary structure will be employed.
The specifications for the temporary structure are usually drawn up by the temporary
structure contractor and is required to obtain permits for any work done.
A major emphasis will be placed on concrete formwork construction covering detailed
design analysis of both vertical and horizontal timber formwork systems.
Temporary Structures
Definition:
Any means or methods which provide temporary support, access, enhancement, or
otherwise facilitate the construction of permanent structures.
Necessity:
Temporary structures form the interface between design and construction. Most
permanent structures simply could not be built without temporary structures.
Impact on Schedule, Cost, and Quality
Losses in time and money will occur if the temporary structures are not planned and
coordinated with the same degree of thoroughness as the permanent structures.
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Safety
Failure of temporary structures have been responsible for hundreds of deaths on
construction sites. Safety should be the overriding priority of contractors and
designers responsible for implementing temporary structures.
Responsibility
The norm in the construction industry is to place the responsibility for temporary
structures solely on the general contractor. However, architects and engineers must at
least have formulated their own method of construction. Coordinating the design of
permanent structure with the temporary structures that will be required can lead to
more efficient and cost effective construction.
Design Considerations
Safety
Designers must place the first priority on safety. OSHA codes, as well as other codes
in the industry, provide stringent performance specifications (how the system should
work) regarding temporary structures.
Cost
Temporary structures can be the most expensive part of some construction projects.
Designing cost-effective solutions to temporary structures problems could easily be
the competitive advantage a contractor has over others. The designer must have a
thorough knowledge of all the options which will sufficiently solve the temporary
structures problem.
Unique Design Challenges
Temporary structures are subject to unique loading conditions which do not apply to a
change position). Working within spatial constraints and cramped sites requires the
most efficient temporary structure so that workers still have room to maneuver safely.
It is always possible that an unforeseen condition could arise during an excavation due
to uncertainty of soil conditions. Designers must include an appropriate factor of
safety in their calculations or they may consider contingency plans for changing soil
conditions.
The contractor
In many cases the contractor is the only member of the construction team with
considerable experience and practical knowledge of temporary structures. The
contractor must hire his or her own engineer, if the specifications or building codes
require one, or self perform the design of temporary structures. The most complex
temporary structures are often handled on a design-build basis (design-build approach
is a construction technique which allows a single procurement for the design and
construction of projects.) The design-build situation is optimal because it guarantees
coordination between design and construction.
Anyone managing the construction process needs a basic understanding of the
engineers thinking process and the design intentions and the basic understanding of
how a structure behaves. Constructor must be able to address a number of technical
questions at the project site including structural issues that sometimes are not
addressed by the design professionals. Since the safety of construction workers as
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well as the strength and stability of structures during the construction phase is of
paramount importance, construction managers need this knowledge.

Structural Design
Definition: Determination of overall proportions and dimensions of the supporting
framework and the selection of individual members.
Responsibility: The structural engineer is responsible for structural design within the
constraints imposed by the architect (number of stories, floor plan, etc.).
Important factors in design are:
safety (the structure doesnt fall down);
serviceability (how well the structure performs in term of appearance and
deflection);
economy (an efficient use of materials and labor); and
Several alternative designs should be prepared and their costs compared.
Types of load that structures support are:
partitions, etc.
live loads not permanent; the location is not fixed; including furniture,
equipment, and occupants of buildings
wind load (exerts a pressure or suction on the exterior of a building);
earthquake loads (the effects of ground motion are simulated by a system of
horizontal forces);
snow load (varies with geographical location and drift);
other loads (hydrostatic pressure, soil pressure)
If the load is applied suddenly, the effects of IMPACT must be accounted for.
Design specifications provide guidance for the design of structural members and their
connections. They have no legal standing on their own, but they can easily be
adopted, by reference, as part of a building code. i.e., ACI 318-99- Building Code
Requirements for Structural Concrete. The Specifications for Design of Wood
Members are by National Design Specifications for Wood Construction by American
Forest and Paper Association.
Formwork for Concrete
Formwork development has paralleled the growth of concrete construction throughout
the 20th century. The increasing acceptance of concrete as a major construction
material presents the form builder a new range of problems in the development of
appropriate sheathing materials and maintenance of rigid tolerances. Figure 1 shows a
typical concrete wall formwork setup.
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Wiresnapties
Woodforms
Walers

Figure 1 - Typical formwork setup for a
concrete wall
Formwork is a classic temporary structure in the sense that it is erected quickly,
highly loaded for a few hours during the concrete placement, and within a few days
disassembled for future reuse. Also classic in their temporary nature are the
connections, braces, tie anchorages, and adjustment devices which forms need.
For concrete formworks, the notion of "Temporary Structures" does not quite portray
the reality. Forms, its hardware and accessories are used over and over again over
their life time. Because of that it is necessary to use materials with high durability and
easy to maintain. The form design should be such that it can be erected and
disassembled efficiently in order to maximize productivity. The disassembly or
stripping of forms depends on factors such as the bond between concrete and the
form, rigidity and shrinkage of concrete. Forms should, whenever possible, be left in
place for the entire curing period. Since early form removal is desirable for their
reuse, a reliable basis for determining the earliest possible stripping time is necessary.
Some of the early signs to look for during stripping are no excessive deflection or
distortion and no evidence of cracking or other damage to the concrete due to the
removal of the forms or the form supports. In any event, forms must not be stripped
until the concrete has hardened enough to hold its own weight and any other weight it
may be carrying. The surface must be hard enough to remain undamaged and
unmarked when reasonable care is used in stripping the forms.
Traditionally, formwork was erected in place and wrecked after only one time of
usage. In the United States, due to high labor costs, it is more efficient and profitable
to prefabricate forms, assemble them in large units using mechanical devices, such as
cranes to erect the forms and reuse them as much as possible.
Lumber was once the predominant form material, but developments in the use of
plywood, metal, plastics, and other materials, together with the increasing use of
specialized accessories, have changed the picture. In 1908 the use of wood versus
steel formwork was debated at the American Concrete Institute (ACI) convention, the
advantages of modular panel formed with its own connecting hardware and good for
extensive reuse were also realized. By 1910 steel forms for paving were being
produced commercially and used in the field (Figure 2).

Figure 2 - A 1909 construction scene
shows the first application of
steel forms for street paving
(From M.K. Hurd)
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Today modular panel forming is the norm. Figure 3 shows steel forms being used for
concrete pavement construction.

Figure 3 - Steel modular forms being used in concrete pavement construction

Objectives of Form Building
Forms mold the concrete to desired size and shape and control its position and
alignment. But formwork is more than a mold; it is a temporary structure that
supports its own weight, plus the freshly placed concrete, plus construction live loads
(including materials, equipment, and personnel).
Basic objectives in form building are:
1. Quality In terms of strength, rigidity, position, and dimensions of the forms
2. Safety for both the workers and the concrete structure
3. Economy the least cost consistent with quality and safety requirements
Cooperation and coordination between engineer/architect and the contractor are
necessary to achieve these goals.
Economy is a major concern since formwork costs constitute up to 60 percent of the
total cost of concrete work in a project (Figure 4).
Formwork
material
cost
Concrete,
rebar,
footings,
placement
Formwork Labor
Cost

Figure 4 - Pie chart of cost components in a typical concrete construction
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How Formwork Affects Concrete Quality
In designing and building formwork, the contractor should aim for maximum
economy without sacrificing quality or safety. Size, shape, and alignment of slabs,
beams, and other concrete structural elements depend on accurate construction of the
forms.
The forms must be:
Sufficiently rigid under the construction loads to maintain the designed shape of
the concrete,
Stable and strong enough to maintain large members in alignment, and
Substantially constructed to withstand handling and reuse without losing their
dimensional integrity.
The formwork must remain in place until the concrete is strong enough to carry its
own weight, or the finished structure may be damaged.
Causes of Formwork Failure
Formwork failures are the cause of many accidents and building failures that occur
during concrete construction, usually when fresh concrete is being placed. Generally
some unexpected event causes one member to fail, then others become overloaded or
misaligned and the entire formwork structure collapses. The main causes of formwork
failure are:
1. improper stripping and shore removal
3. vibration
4. unstable soil under mudsills (A plank, frame, or small footing on the ground
used as a base for a shore or post in formwork), shoring not plumb
5. inadequate control of concrete placement
6. lack of attention to formwork details.
Please read the case studies presented in M.K. Hurd in Chapter 2.
Safety
Formwork must be:
strong to carry the full load and side pressure from freshly placed concrete,
together with construction traffic and equipment, and
sound (made of good quality, durable materials)
To ensure that forms are correctly designed and strong enough for the expected load
OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) regulations, American
Concrete Institute (ACI) recommendations, and local code requirements for formwork
should be followed.
Planning for Formwork
The contractor should plan for formwork at the time of making bid considering the
following factors:
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placing schedule and stripping time requirements;
capacity of equipment available to handle form sections and materials;
capacity of mixing and placing equipment;
construction joints;
reuse of forms as affected by stripping time;
weather (protection requirements and stripping time)
Compare alternative methods to determine the most efficient plan.
Areas of Cost Reduction
1. Planning for maximum reuse A form designed for max reuse is stronger and
more expensive, but it can save on the total form cost.
2. Economical form construction
use shop-built-forms provides greatest efficiency in working conditions and in
the purchase and use of materials and tools;
create shop area on the site to form sections too large or transportation cost too
high;
use job-built for small jobs, or where forms must be fitted to terrain;
buy prefabricated forms(large number of reuses)
rent prefab forms(better flexibility in regulating volume of work)
3. Setting and stripping
repeat the same functions to increase the crew efficiency as the job progresses
use metal clamp or special wedge pin connections that are secure, yet easy to
assemble and dismantle; and
add extra features that make handling, erection, and stripping easier such as
handles, lifting eyes.
4. Cranes and Hoists
Size of form sections should be limited to the capacity of the largest crane planned
for the job.
Stair towers may be completed early in the schedule to be used for moving men
and materials.
Leave one bay open to permit mobile crane and concrete truck movement.
5. Bar Setting
Form design can permit the rebar to be pre assembled before installation (more
favorable condition)
6. Concrete Placement
High lifts in wall construction make placing and vibration difficult.
Placing rate is limited by form design.
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Form Materials and Accessories
Practically all formwork jobs require some lumber. A local supplier will advise what
material and sizes are in stock or promptly obtainable, and the designer or builder can
proceed accordingly. Southern yellow pine and Douglas fir, sometimes called Oregon
pine are widely used in structural concrete forms. They are easily worked and are the
strongest in the softwood group. Both hold nails well and are durable. They are used
in sheathing, studs, and wales. Figure 5 shows a typical wall form with its
components.

Figure 5 - Typical wall form with components identified. Plywood sheathing
is more common than board sheathing material
Figure 6 shows parts of a typical wall form

Figure 6 - Parts of a typical wall form
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Ties
In order to secure concrete forms against the lateral pressure of unhardened
concrete, a tensile unit called concrete form tie is used (they are also referred to as
form clamps, coil ties, rod clamps, snap ties, etc.). They are ready-made units
with safe load ratings ranging from 1000 lb to more than 50000 lb and have an
internal tension unit and an external holding device. Figure 7 shows a typical
single member tie.

Figure 7 A typical single member ties (from M.K. Hurd)
Ties are manufactured in two basic types:
Continuous single member ties; in which the tensile unit is a single piece, have a
special holding device added for engaging the tensile unit against the exterior of
the form (Figure 8). Some single member ties may be pulled as an entire unit
from the concrete; others are broken back a predetermined distance. Some are cut
flush with the concrete surface. It is generally used for lighter loads, ranging up to

Figure 8 A continuous single member tie (working loads from 4500 to 50,000 lbs)
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Internal disconnecting type ties, in which the tensile unit has an inner part with
threaded connections to removable external members generally remain in the
concrete (Figure 9). It is available for light or medium loads, but finds its greatest

Figure 9 - An internal disconnecting ties
Lumber Finish and Sizes
Dressed lumber is referred to a lumber which has been surfaced in a planing
machine to achieve surface smoothness and uniformity of size. The lumber may be
surfaced on one side (S1S), one edge (S1E), two sides (S2S), two edges (S2E), or
combination of sides and edges (S1S1E, S1S2E, S2S1E) or on all four sides (S4S).
Dressed lumber is generally used for formwork, because it is easier to handle and
work, but rough sawn boards and timbers may be used in bracing and shoring, or as a
form surfacing material to secure a special texture effect in the finished concrete.
Minimum sizes of both rough and dressed lumber are specified by the American
Softwood Lumber Standards, PS 20-70.
Lumber is commonly referred to by its nominal size (Figure 10). Minimum sizes for
green lumber are selected so that as moisture is lost, it becomes the same size as dry
lumber.

Figure 10 - Specified actual size of a 24 for different moisture contents and finishes
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Table 4-1B on page 4-4 of the text shows actual dimensions and cross section
properties of American Standard lumber at 19 percent moisture content. Actual, not
nominal, sizes must always be used for design. The values in Table 4-1B can be
safely used with either dry or green lumber. Design for formwork are based on the
allowable or working stresses. Allowable stress depends on many factors, including
the species of wood and its grade, cross section, moisture content, and load duration.
For form work materials with limited reuse, ACI Committee 347 (http://aci-
int.org/committees/CommitteeHome.asp?Committee_Code=0000347-00) permits
design using allowable stresses for temporary structures or for temporary loads on
permanent structures. In case of lumber, this is interpreted to mean the 25 percent
working stress increase (adjustment factor of 1.25) shown in Table 4-2 (page 4-6,
text) for 7 days or less duration of load.
Adjustment Factors for Size and Flat Use
Size Factor except for Southern Pine, the No. 1 and No. 2 lumber frequently used
for formwork is subject to stress adjustment based on member size (use Table 4-2B).
Flat use factor when dimension lumber 2 to 4 inches thick is loaded on the wide
face, the base value of bending stress can be multiplied by adjustment factors shown
in Table 4-2B (page 4-7, text).
The shear stress factor can be applied to the base design value to increase the
allowable horizontal shear stress when the length of splits or size of shakes and
checks is known, as shown in Table 6-3 (page 6-9, text).
Designers may estimate an appropriate adjustment factor when they have general
knowledge of the lumber quality available. Conservative practice would suggest use
of the factor 1.00 whenever there is absolutely no information on splits, checks and
shakes.
Engineered Wood Products
Plywood
Plywood is widely used for job built forms and prefabricated form panel systems.
Plywood is a flat panel made of a number of thin sheets of wood. A single sheet in
the panel may be referred to as a ply, or layer. A layer may consist of a single ply or
it may be two or more plies laminated together with their grain direction parallel.
Plywood is pieces of wood made of three or more layers of veneer joined with glue,
and usually laid with the grain of adjoining plies at right angles. Almost always an
odd number of plies are used to provide balanced construction. Some of the major
structural uses for plywood are:
roof, floor, and wall sheathing;
horizontal and vertical diaphragms (shearwall);
structural components (Laminated veneer Lumber);
gusset plates; and
concrete formwork.
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A thin sheet of wood obtained from the peeler log is called veneer or ply. The cross-
laminated pieces of wood in a plywood panel are known as layers. A layer is often an
individual ply, but it can consist of more than one ply. The face and back plies have
the grain running parallel to the 8-ft dimension of the panel. (Note: wood is stronger
parallel to the grain than perpendicular to the grain).
Typical plywood sheathing applications use the plywood continuously over two or
more spans. The required thickness of the plywood is determined by sheathing load
and joist spacings. The standard size of plywood is 48 ft. Varying moisture
conditions change dimensions. Therefore, edge and end spacing of 1/8 inch is
recommended in installation of plywood.
When the sheathing is nailed onto green supporting beams, the nails "pop" upward
through the sheathing as the lumber supports dry. This can cause problems with
finish flooring (the nails should be set below the surface of the sheathing and the nail
holes should not be filled).
Table 4-3 (page 4-10, text) shows the effective section properties for plywood.
Plywood at the bottom face grain parallel to span is used the strong way. In
Figure 11, with face grain perpendicular to the span direction, the specimen at the top
is used the weak way.

Figure 11 Plywood used in weak and strong way
Bearing or Crushing
Bearing Stresses (Compression Perpendicular to the Grain)
A. Allowable stresses for compression perpendicular to the grain are available from
tables providing wood properties for various species and grades of lumber.
These allowable stresses may be modified (increased) if both of the following
criteria are satisfied:
1. Bearing is applied 3 inches or more from the end of the member being
stressed.
2. Bearing length is less than 6 inches.
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When criteria are met, the allowable stresses are modified by the following factor:
l
l 375 . 0 +

Where l is the bearing strength in inches measured along the grain of the wood.
For round washers, assume l is equal to the diameter of washer.
B. To check for a bearing failure, such as crushing of wood fibers, divide the
imposed load by the area of contact and compare this determined actual bearing
stress to the allowable bearing stress. If the actual bearing stress exceeds the
allowable bearing stress, a failure results.
The multiplying factors for indicated lengths of bearing on such small area plates and
washers are shown in the table below:
Length of
bearing, inches
1/2 1 1 1/2 2 3 4
6 or
more
Factor. 1.79 1.37 1.25 1.19 1.13 1.09 1.00
EXAMPLE
Design of Column/Braces
Wood members are subjected to axial compression (compression parallel to the
grain). The capacity of a wood column is dependent on the following properties:
1. Cross-sectional area.
2. Slenderness Ratio.
3. Allowable compressive stress parallel to the grain (the basic allowable stress
depends on the wood species and grade. This allowable stress may be
modified depending on the slenderness ratio).
Buckling is the major mode of failure in wood columns. The slenderness ratio is the
ratio of the unsupported length (l) of a member to the width (d) of the face of the
member under consideration. Two values of the slenderness ratio (l/d) must be
calculated for wood members used in construction because buckling can occur
about either axis of the cross-section. If a column is unbraced, the controlling
slenderness ratio (the larger one) will be the one determined by using the dimension
of the narrower face. For wood members, l/d cannot exceed 50. The following
examples will illustrate the calculation of the slenderness ratios:
1. Unbraced Column:
2 4
6 ft or 72"

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a. Slenderness ratio parallel to narrow face:

0 . 48
5 . 1
72
= =
d
l

b. Slenderness ratio parallel to wide face:

57 . 20
5 . 3
72
= =
d
l

The larger, thus controlling, slenderness ratio is 48. Since the column is unbraced
in both dimensions, it is intuitive that the slenderness ratio on the narrow face
would control. Note that if the column were unbraced and 7 foot long, the
controlling slenderness ratio would be 56 (over 50) and column would not be
permitted without modification (larger member section or additional lateral
bracing).

2. Braced Column:
4 6
9' or 108"
Brace
. .
16' or 192"
7' or 84"
5.5"
3.5"

a. Slenderness ratio parallel to narrow face:

86 . 30
5 . 3
108
= =
d
l

Note: Use longest unbraced length - 9 feet

b. Slenderness ratio parallel to wide face:
91 . 34
5 . 5
192
= =
d
l

The controlling slenderness ratio is 34.91.
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Lateral Pressure of Fresh Concrete
Loads imposed by fresh concrete against wall or column forms differ from the gravity
load on a horizontal slab form. The freshly placed concrete behaves temporarily like
a fluid, producing a hydrostatic pressure that acts laterally on the vertical forms. This
lateral pressure is comparable to full liquid head when concrete is placed full height
within the period required for its initial set.
With slower rate of placing, concrete at the bottom of the form begins to harden and
lateral pressure is reduced to less than full fluid pressure by the time concreting is
completed in the upper parts of the form. The effective lateral pressure a modified
hydrostatic pressure has been found to be influenced by the weight, rate of
placement, temperature of concrete mix, use of retardant admixtures, and vibration.
Factors affecting lateral pressure on forms are:
Weight of concrete
Rate of placing (the average rate of rise in the form)
Vibration
Temperature (affecting the set time)
Other variables
Consistency of concrete
Ambient temperature
Amount and location of reinforcement
Maximum aggregate size (MSA)
Cement type, etc.
Table 5-4 (page 5-12, text) shows the maximum pressure to be used for design of wall
forms with placement rates up to 10 feet per hour.
Form Design
When the material for formwork has been chosen, and the anticipated loading
estimated, a form should be designed strong enough to carry the anticipated loads
safely, and stiff enough to hold its shape under full load. At the same time the builder
or contractor wants to keep costs down by not overbuilding the form.

Before formwork design can properly begin, a thorough evaluation should
be made concerning the variables surrounding the design. Some of these
include the following:
A. Review the J ob Conditions
1. Type of placement procedure (trucks, crane, buggy, concrete
pump)
2. Expected rate of placement
3. Limitations of batch plant or ready-mix supplier
4. Expected temperature of concrete at the time of placement
(review job schedule for time of placement)
5. Deflection tolerances permitted
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B. Review Knowledge Level of the Workers on the J ob
1. Degree of compliance with design assumptions to be expected
2. Efficiency with reuses skilled workers may efficiently reuse
forms while an unskilled workforce may be more efficient with
gang forms

C. Establish which Materials will be Utilized in the Form
1. Plywood (sizes and allowable stresses) in inventory or readily
available
2. Lumber (sizes and allowable stresses) in inventory or readily
available
3. Hardware available (the hardware may dictate the lumber
selected for the form)

Concrete Formwork

area. The dead load is defined as the weight of the reinforced concrete plus the
the process of construction such as material storage, personnel and equipment.
Formwork impact load is a resulting load from dumping of concrete or the starting
and stopping of construction equipment on the formwork. An impact load may be

Concrete and Rebar (130-160 lb/cu. ft.)
Embedments
Formworks (at least 10 lb/sf, ANSI [American National Standards Institute] A 10.9
1983)

Live Load Minimum 50 lb/sf (75 lb/sf if carts are used)
Personel
Equipment
Mounting of Concrete
Impacts

Combined Dead and Live Load Minimum 100 lb/sf (125 lb/sf if carts are used)

Slab forms: The greater of:

100 lb/lineal foot of slab edge
or
19/121

CM 420 TEMPORARY STRUCTURES LESSON 1: INTRODUCTION AND CONCRETE FORMWORK
Page 19 of 35
Wall forms: The greater of:

15 lb/sf
or
Local Code requirements for wind load
or
100 lb/linear foot of wall (for >8 tall wall)

THE WALL FORM DESIGN

Lateral Pressures on Wall Forms

A. The pressure imposed by concrete on a wall form is a function of the
following primary factors:
1. Density of concrete
2. Temperature (T) of the concrete at the time of placing (degree Fahrenheit)
3. Rate (R) of concrete placing (feet of height per hour)
4. Height (h) of concrete placement (in feet)

B. The pressure (P) that concrete will impose on a wall form is determined as
follows:
1. If the placement rate (R) does not exceed 7 feet per hour, the pressure (P
measured in psf) is the least of the following; yet never less than 600 psf:
a.
T
R
P
9000
150+ =
b. P =150h
c. P =2000 psf
2. If the placement rate (R) is from 7 to 10 feet per hour, the least of the
following values apply; yet never less than 600 psf:
a.
T
R
T
P
2800 400 , 43
150 + + =
b. P =150h
c. P =2000 psf
3. If the placement rate exceeds 10 feet per hour, assume the lateral pressure
is equal to 150h.

C. The wall form pressure calculations apply only if additional assumptions are
satisfied.
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CM 420 TEMPORARY STRUCTURES LESSON 1: INTRODUCTION AND CONCRETE FORMWORK
Page 20 of 35
1. Concrete density is 150 pcf.
2. Concrete is vibrated at the time of placement and not more than 4 feet
below the top of the concrete surface.
3. Concrete slump does not exceed 4 inches.
4. Concrete is made of Type I cement and contains no pozzolans or
5. Concrete temperature is in the range of 40 to 90 degrees F.

Wall Design Pressure Determined
Given or assumed values: density of Concrete =150 pcf
Height of Wall (h) =12-8
Rate of Placement (R) =5 ft/hr
Concrete Temperature (T) =80F

Determine maximum wall pressure (Per ACI 347)

Since R <7 ft/hr, the maximum pressure is the least of the following:

( )
psf .5 712
80
5 9000
150
9000
150 = + = + =
T
R
P
P =150h = 150 (12.67) = 1900 psf
P =2000 psf
Using the smallest value: Use P =712.5 psf
Verify with Table 5-4
P =712 psf

21/121

CM 420 TEMPORARY STRUCTURES LESSON 1: INTRODUCTION AND CONCRETE FORMWORK
Page 21 of 35
Diagram of Lateral Pressure on Wall Form

12-8
4-9
712.5 psf
4'-9" ft 75 . 4
pcf 150
psf 5 . 712
= =

Pressure Diagram
22/121

CM 420 TEMPORARY STRUCTURES LESSON 1: INTRODUCTION AND CONCRETE FORMWORK
Page 22 of 35
Formwork Design
The formwork design aims at designing a form that is strong enough to handle the
calculated loads safely and stiff enough to maintain its shape under full load. When
designing concrete formwork, the following design simplifications and assumptions
1. All loads are assumed to be uniformly distributed.
2. Beams that are supported over three or more spans are considered to be
continuous;
3. The design values for simple spans can safely be used for beams that are
supported over two spans;
4. When determining size of main form members, the strength of nailed connections
is neglected.
Typical Design Formulas
Typically, the components of formwork are sheathing, studs, joists, wales, stringers,
shores, and tie rods. Sheathing retains the concrete and is supported by studs in
vertical forms and joists in horizontal forms. Studs are supported by wales and joists
by stringers. The wales are held in place by tension members such as tie rods and
stringers are supported by shores or posts. Other than tie rods and shores, the other
components of the formwork structurally behave like beams, whether being horizontal
or vertical. Beam formulas are used to analyze the formwork components. Below the
formulas for bending, deflection and shear are introduced. From these formulas the
quantities of l, the safe span is calculated. In formwork design, the smallest value of l
calculated for each category of bending, deflection and shear is used as the safe span
that satisfies all conditions.
Bending:
The maximum bending stress, maximum deflection and shear for beams supported
over two spans and three or more spans are shown below:
l, in. l, in.
w, lb. Per ft.
lb - in.
96
2
wl
M
Max
=
in.
12 384
5
4
max
EI
l w
=
lb
12
2
8
5

=
d
L
w
V
l, in. l, in.
w, lb. Per ft.
l, in.
lb - in.
120
2
wl
M
Max
=
in.
12 145
1
4
max
EI
l w
=
lb
12
2
6 . 0

=
d
L w V
1. For simple beams:
In the above formula, the resisting moment, M
r
,is the product of allowable stress in
the extreme fiber of the beam in bending and the section modulus, S. Therefore,
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CM 420 TEMPORARY STRUCTURES LESSON 1: INTRODUCTION AND CONCRETE FORMWORK
Page 23 of 35
96
2
wl
fS M
Max
= =
In formwork design, the safe span, l, is used for analysis. Simplifying the above
equation:
w
fs
l fs wl
96
96
2 2
= = or
w
fS
l 80 . 9 =
2. For continuous beams (more than three supports):
Similar to the analysis above, the safe span for a continuous beam can be derived as:
w
fS
l 95 . 10 =
Deflection:
The amount of deflection allowed will be addressed in the specifications. If no
deflection criterion is specified, it is common to use l/360 for structural concrete,
where l is the span of the formwork member. Other common allowable deflection
quantities are: l/180, or maximum allowable deflection of 1/16-in. for sheathing or
1/8-in. for other components. For long members (5 ft. or greater), -in. deflection is
normally acceptable.
1. For simple beams:
A. Deflection limited to
360
l
span:
The deflection for a simple beam is:
w
EI
w
EI
l
l
EI
l w 56 . 2
360 5
12 384

360
in.
12 384
5
3
4
max
=

= = =
3
37 . 1
w
EI
l =
B. Deflection limited to
180
l
span:
3
72 . 1
w
EI
l =
2. For continuous beams:
A. Deflection limited to
360
l
span:
3
69 . 1
w
EI
l =
B. Deflection limited to
180
l
span:
24/121

CM 420 TEMPORARY STRUCTURES LESSON 1: INTRODUCTION AND CONCRETE FORMWORK
Page 24 of 35
3
13 . 2
w
EI
l =
C. Deflection limited to " 8 1 span:
4
84 . 3
w
EI
l =
D. Deflection limited to " 16 1 span:
4
23 . 3
w
EI
l =

Shear:
1. For plywood (continuous):
The following formula is used to check the rolling shear in plywood (f
s
is the actual
rolling shear stress in plywood, psi):
bI
VQ
f
s
=
For simply supported beams, the shear is wL/2 and foe a continuous beam 0.6wL. The
difference between L and l is that L represents the clear span in feet, where as l
represents the distance between center-to-center supports in inches. The rolling shear
constant, Ib/Q is listed in Table 4-3 in the text.
For a continuous support condition (F
S
is the allowable rolling shear stress in
plywood, psi):
bI
Q
wL F wL V
bI
Q V
F
S Max
Max
S
6 . 0 6 . 0 and = = = or
Q
Ib
w
F
L
S
=
6 . 0

Note: constant shear rolling =
Q
Ib

Similar calculations can be performed for the beams:
2. For simple beams:
d
w
bd F
l
V
2
16
+

=
3. For continuous beams:
d
w
bd F
l
V
2 33 . 13 +

=
where: d =depth of the beam, in.; b =width of the beam, in.; w =uniform load, lb/lf

25/121

CM 420 TEMPORARY STRUCTURES LESSON 1: INTRODUCTION AND CONCRETE FORMWORK
Page 25 of 35
WALL FORM DESIGN EXAMPLE:
Design forms for 12-10 (12.8 ft.) high wall to be concreted at the rate of 4 ft per
hour, internally vibrated. Assume the mix is made with Type I cement, with no
pozzolans or admixtures, and that the temperature of concrete at placing is 70F. The
unit weight of concrete is 150 pcf with a slump of 3. The forms will have
continuing reuse. Assume that deflection is limited to l/360 of the span. All lumbers
are S4S.
Form grade plywood sheathing -in. thick is available in 48-ft sheets, and 4300-lb
coil ties are on hand. Framing lumber of No. 2 Douglas Fir-Larch is to be purchased
as required.
STEP 1: FIND THE LATERAL PRESSURE
The concrete used for this project satisfied the conditions of Table 5-4 (it is a normal
weight concrete with a unit weight of 150 pcf, made with Type I cement, no
admixtures or pozzolans are used and the slump of 3 inches).
Using Table 5-4, for R =4 ft/hr, and T =70F, the minimum pressure for design is:
P =664 psf

Or alternatively by calculation:

+ = + = psf 664
70
4 9000
150
9000
150
T
R
P
Then the depth of the hydrostatic load zone, for a concrete with a unit weight of 150
pcf is:
ft. 4 . 4
pcf 150
psf 664
150
= =
P

The diagram of lateral pressure on wall form is then drawn as below:
26/121

CM 420 TEMPORARY STRUCTURES LESSON 1: INTRODUCTION AND CONCRETE FORMWORK
Page 26 of 35
664 psf
8.4 ft.
4.4 ft.
12.8 ft.

Pressure Diagram
w, loading of the beam for a 1-ft wide strip of plywood is
lb/lf 664
in. 12
ft in. 12 psf 664
in. 12
=

= =
p
w

STEP 2: SHEATHING
48-ft. sheets of plywood will be used. Use plywood the strong way (face grain
parallel to plywood span). Since the sheathing thickness is specified to be , the
maximum allowable span, which is the required spacing of studs, needs to be
determined. Design for uniformly spaced supports with studs supporting the plywood
sheets at the joints.

Check Bending
Consider a 12-in. wide strip of plywood. For plywood, from Table 4-2: f =1,545 psi,
F
S
=57 psi, and E =1,500,000 psi.

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CM 420 TEMPORARY STRUCTURES LESSON 1: INTRODUCTION AND CONCRETE FORMWORK
Page 27 of 35
From Table 4-3, S =0.412 in.
3
,
Q
Ib
=6.762 in.
2
, and I =0.197 in.
4
.

For continuous beams (more than three supports):
in. 72 . 10 922 . 0 95 . 10
664
412 . 0 1545
95 . 10 95 . 10 = =

= =
w
fS
l
Check Deflection
The deflection requirement is specified to be l/360 of the span. From Tables 4-2 and
4-3: E =1,500,000 psi and I =0.197 in.
4
.
For =l/360 in. 90 . 12 635 . 7 69 . 1
664
197 . 0 1500000
69 . 1 69 . 1
3 3
= =

= =
w
EI
l
Check Rolling Shear
Calculate the maximum span which satisfies shear stress requirements. Use the
equation for maximum shear for a continuous plyform and solve for L:
in. 11.61 ft. 97 . 0 762 . 6
664 6 . 0
57
6 . 0
= =

= =
Q
Ib
w
F
L
S

SPACING OF THE STUDS
From the above calculations, the smallest value obtained for l is 10.72 in. (bending
governs).
We are using 8-ft.-wide plywood sheets. The sheets should have stud support at the
joints. Therefore an equal-spacing of studs at 10.67-inches satisfies all conditions

=

7 6 . 10
9
ft in. 12 8
.
USE STUDS WITH THE SPACING OF 10.67 in.
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CM 420 TEMPORARY STRUCTURES LESSON 1: INTRODUCTION AND CONCRETE FORMWORK
Page 28 of 35
STEP 3:
STUD SIZE and SPACING OF THEIR SUPPORTS (WALE SPACING)
Lets select stud size of 24 S4S. The allowable span of studs will determine wale
spacing. Find the maximum span that can support a lateral pressure of 664 psf.
Equivalent uniform load, w, is the maximum lateral pressure times the stud spacing.
Hence:
( ) lb/lf 590
in./ft. 12
in. 67 . 0 1 psf 664
stud =

= w

Check Bending
Since the stud size is selected, calculate its maximum allowable span, which is the
required spacing of wales. This is a 12-10 high wall, therefore, studs are continuous
over three or more spans. Assume using No. 2 Douglas Fir-Larch studs. From Table
4-2, the extreme fiber bending stress, F
b
, is 875 psi. However, this value should be
adjusted by a factor called the size factor obtained from Table 4-2B, which is 1.5.
Therefore: psi 1312.5 1.5 psi 875 = =
b
F

29/121

CM 420 TEMPORARY STRUCTURES LESSON 1: INTRODUCTION AND CONCRETE FORMWORK
Page 29 of 35

From Table 4-1B: S =3.06 in.
3
for 24 S4S No. 2 Douglas Fir-Larch.

The allowable stud span as a continuous beam is:
in. 6 . 28
590
06 . 3 5 . 1312
95 . 10 95 . 10 =

=
w
S F
l
b

Check Deflection
Calculate the maximum allowable span which meets the deflection requirement of
l/360 of the span. From Table 4-2, for 24 S4S No. 2 Douglas Fir-Larch: E =
1,600,000 psi. Table 4-1B: I =5.36 in.
4
.
For =l/360 in. 2 . 41 4 . 24 69 . 1
590
36 . 5 1600000
69 . 1 69 . 1
3 3
= =

= =
w
EI
l
Check Shear
From Table 4-2, allowable F
V
(rolling shear stress) can be found to be F
s
=95 psi,
which should be multiplied by a factor of 2.0 for horizontal shear adjustment (from
Table 6-3, page 6-9, text).
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CM 420 TEMPORARY STRUCTURES LESSON 1: INTRODUCTION AND CONCRETE FORMWORK
Page 30 of 35

Hence, the allowable shear stress is:
psi 190 2 95 = =
V
F
A 24 S4S has an actual b =1 in. and d =3 in., which is obtained from Table 4-
1B. Use the equation for maximum shear for a continuous beam and solve for l:
in. 29.5 7 5 . 22
2
1
3 2
590
2
1
3
2
1
1 190
33 . 13 2 33 . 13 = + = +

= +

= d
w
bd F
l
V

SPACING OF THE WALES
From the stud spans calculated above, the shortest span is based on bending which is
28.6 inches. This means the wales, which are the stud supports CANNOT be spaced
more than 28.6 inches apart. The top and bottom wales are often set about 1 ft from
top and bottom of wall forms.
12-10 2 =10-10 or 130 remains for spacing the other wales, which can be no
more than 28.6 in. apart. Set them at 26 in.
(130/26 =5).
12
2-2
2-2
2-2
2-1
2-2
2-2
2-2
2-2
2-1
2-2
2-2
12 P =664 psf
P =664 psf
4-5

31/121

CM 420 TEMPORARY STRUCTURES LESSON 1: INTRODUCTION AND CONCRETE FORMWORK
Page 31 of 35
STEPS 4 & 5: TIE DESIGN, WALE SIZE and TIE SPACING
The required spacing of supports for wales determines tie location. From the pressure
diagram, the equivalent uniform load per lineal foot of wale is determined to be:
664 psf 2.167 ft 1,440 lb/lf
The problem statement indicates that 4300-lb coil ties are available and will be used.
With the maximum load per lineal foot of wale being 1500 lbs, then the maximum tie
spacing is:

ft. 3
lb/ft 1440
lb 4300
capacity Tie
=
Check Bending
Since tie spacing is selected (3 feet), solve the equation for section modulus, S, and
select wales with this calculated required section modulus. Using the maximum
bending moment for a uniformly loaded continuous beam (more than 3 supports)
equation:
lb. - in.
120
2
wl
M
Max
= & S F M
b Max
= Therefore:
120
2
wl
S F
b
= or

b
F
wl
S

=
120
2

b
F is the allowable stress in the extreme fiber and was calculated to be 1312.5 psi.
The span, l, is 3 ft. or 36 inches, and w =1440 lb/lf. Therefor the required section
modulus, S:
3
2 2
in. 8 . 11
5 . 1312 120
36 1440
120
=

=
b
F
wl
S
In order to avoid drilling of timbers, they commonly use double-member wales. So
the required section modulus of 11.8 in.
3
is for two members. Referring to Table 4-
1B, double 34s will yield a section modulus of 25.10 or 10.20 in.
3
, which is less
than 11.8 in.
3
, and therefore not acceptable. Checking the next larger size, 44, will
result in: S =2 7.15 =14.30 in.
3
>11.8 in.
3
, which satisfies the section modulus
requirements. Use double 44 wales.
Check Shear
To check the horizontal shear for the double 44 wales, use equation 6-12 in the text.
From Table 4-1B, the value of bd for a 44 member can be obtained as: 12.25 in.
2
.
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CM 420 TEMPORARY STRUCTURES LESSON 1: INTRODUCTION AND CONCRETE FORMWORK
Page 32 of 35

O.K. psi 190 psi 128 42 . 2 9 . 52
12
5 . 3 2
3
25 . 12 2
1440 9 . 0
12
2 9 . 0
=

=
d
L
bd
w
f
V

Therefore the stress in the double 44 members meets the requirements.
Since the deflection of wales is hardly ever critical, it can be ignored. However, if in
doubt, it can be checked using the deflection formula introduced earlier.
STEP 6: BEARING CHECK
Check:
1) bearing of the studs on wales and
2) bearing between the tie washer or tie holders and wales.
From Table 4-2, the value of compression to grain, F
c
, for No. 2 24 Douglas Fir-
Larch is 625 psi.
TIES: Assume a 3 in.-square tie washer.
Then the bearing area is:
(3)
2
3 =12.25 2.63 =9.63 in.
2

Since this is a short bearing length, F
c
should be multiplied by a factor of 1.11 (refer
to page 12 for 3 in. bearing length):
c
=625 (1.11) =694 psi

33/121

CM 420 TEMPORARY STRUCTURES LESSON 1: INTRODUCTION AND CONCRETE FORMWORK
Page 33 of 35
The actual bearing stress is then:
psi 447
in. 9.63
lb 4300
area Bearing
2
= = <694 psi O.K.
STUDS ON WALES:
The bearing area between 24 studs and double 44 wales can be calculated as:
2 (13) =2 5.25 =10.5 in.
2

Load transfer to the wale = the stud span above and below the wale the lateral
pressure the stud spacing
lb 1439 ft 1 psf 664
12
2 26 2 26

+

psi 137
in. 10.5
lb 1439
stress bearing
2
= = <625 psi O.K.
STEP 7: LATTERAL BRACING
Consider the necessary bracing for a wall form 12-10 high, above grade, in an area
where the local building code specifies a minimum 20 psf wind loading.
Table 5-7 (page 5-17, text) indicated that 128 lb per lineal foot should be used for
design of bracing, since the wind force prescribed by local code gives a value larger
than the 100 lb/ft minimum established by ACI Committee 347.
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CM 420 TEMPORARY STRUCTURES LESSON 1: INTRODUCTION AND CONCRETE FORMWORK
Page 34 of 35

STRUT BRACING
If wooden strut bracing is provided, strong enough to take either a tension or
compression load, then single side bracing may be used. Nailed connections at either
end must be strong enough to transmit the tension load, and wales or other form
members must be strong enough to transmit accumulated horizontal forces to the strut
bracing.
If wooden bracing is attached any distance below the top of the wall, the bracing must
carry more than the 128 lb per ft load applied at the top.

H the horizontal bracing force 8 inches from the top of the wall would have to be
ft per lb 137 lb/lf 128
' 12
' 8 . 12
=

in order to balance the 128 lb/lf design load applied at the top of the wall.
12.8
35/121

CM 420 TEMPORARY STRUCTURES LESSON 1: INTRODUCTION AND CONCRETE FORMWORK
Page 35 of 35
12.8
12
H
H

If end of the brace is put 8 feet from the wall, use the relationship between sides of the
right triangle to find the length of brace and load it must carry.
h=12
X=8
t
H=137lb./ft.

2 2
x h t + =
ft 15 . 14 208 8 12
2 2
= = + = t
8'
14.15'
H strut in n compressio (tension) =
wall of foot per lb 242
8'
14.15'
137 strut in n compressio (tension)
=
=

If struts are spaced every 8 feet along the wall, then 8242 or 1936 lb must be carried
by each brace.
Many wood members strong enough to carry this load in compression will also be
adequate in tension. However, the strength of connections (nails, etc.) must be made
36/121

TOKYO INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY

DEPARTMENT OF CIVIL ENGINEERING

ATCE-II

Second Semester 2005

Professor Kamran M. Nemati

Temporary Structures

Formwork for Concrete Formwork for Concrete Formwork for Concrete Formwork for Concrete

Horizontal Formwork Design and Formwork Design Tables

37/121

ATCE-II

Lesson 2: Concrete Formwork Design
Horizontal Formwork Design and Formwork Design Tables
Overview
The second lesson provides an overview on the basic structural wood design as it
applies to concrete formwork. This lesson covers materials, methods and techniques
associated with concrete formwork design and construction for slabs. This lesson
intends to provide enough information to be able to design horizontal forms, which
will be covered in step-by-step fashion in lesson 2. Also in this lesson, the use of
design tables will be discusses. The design tables are used for preliminary design
when rigorous structural analysis is required for formwork design.
Lesson Objectives
By the end of this lesson you will be able to:
recognize horizontal formwork components, materials and accessories;
explain design considerations for horizontal concrete formwork;
design slab forms;
design formwork using design tables.
M.K. Hurd, Chapter 5: 5.1 to 5.7, Chapter 6: 6-16 to 6-20, and Chapter 7.
38/121

ATCE-II TEMPORARY STRUCTURES LESSON 2: CONCRETE FORMWORK DESIGN (HORIZONTAL)
Page 2 of 17
Introduction
Horizontal concrete formwork, such as formwork for slabs, consist of sheathing,
normally made of plywood, which rests on joists, and joists are supported by
stringers, and stringers are supported on shores which carry the weight of the entire
system. Figure 1 shows a typical slab form with its components.

Figure 1 - Typical wall form with components identified. Plywood
sheathing is more common than board sheathing material
Slab from design
Design of slab forms can be summarized in the following design steps:
Step 2: Determine sheathing thickness and and spacing of its supports (joist spacing)
Step 3: Determine joist size and spacing of supports (stringer spacing)
Step 4: Determine stringer size and span (shore spacing)
Step 5: Perform shore design to support stringers
Step 6: Check bearing stresses
Step 7: Design lateral bracing
The following example illustrates a slab form design:
the weight of reinforced concrete;
the live loads imposed during the construction process (material storage, personnel
and equipment).
39/121

ATCE-II TEMPORARY STRUCTURES LESSON 2: CONCRETE FORMWORK DESIGN (HORIZONTAL)
Page 3 of 17
For example, if the concrete weighs 150 lbs/ft
3
(pcf), it will place a load on the forms
of 12.5 lbs/ft
2
(psf) for each inch of slab thickness ( ) [ ] in psf 5 . 12 ft in 12 pcf 150 = .
i.e., a 6-inch slab would produce a dead load of 12.56 = 75 psf (neglecting the
weight of the form).
ACI Committee 347 recommends that both vertical supports and horizontal framing
components of formwork should be designed for a minimum live load of 50 psf of
horizontal projection to provide for weight of personnel, runways, screeds (equipment
used for precise strike-off and consolidation of concrete surfaces) and other
equipment. When motorized carts are used, the minimum should be 75 psf.
Regardless of slab thickness, the minimum design value for combined dead and live
loads should be 100 psf, or 125 psf if motorized carts are used. Figure 2 shows a
typical power buggy used for concrete placement.

Figure 2 - Power buggy used for concrete placement
Table 5-1 (page 5-2, text) shows vertical loads on forms for various types of slabs of
varying thickness (using minimum live load of 50 psf, and neglecting weight of the
form, which may be added by designer).
When slab form members are continuous over several supporting shores, dumping
concrete on one span of the form member may cause uplift of the form in other spans.
Forms must me designed to hold together under such conditions. If form members are
not secured to resist this uplift, they should be built as a simple pan.

Figure 3 - Dumping concrete on one span of the form can cause uplift of the form in
other spans

SLAB FORM EXAMPLE:
Design forms to support a flat slab floor 8 inches thick of high-strength concrete with
a unit weight of 138 lb/ft
3
, using construction grade Douglas Fir-Larch forming
40/121

ATCE-II TEMPORARY STRUCTURES LESSON 2: CONCRETE FORMWORK DESIGN (HORIZONTAL)
Page 4 of 17
members and steel shoring. Ceiling height is 8 feet and bays are 1515 feet. Assume
forms will have continuing reuse.

in. 12
in. 8
= 92 psf
Minimum construction live load on forms = 50 psf
Weight of forms, estimated = 8 psf
___________________________________________________
Total form design load = 150 psf

Step 2: SHEATHING DESIGN [Sheathing thickness and spacing of
its supports (joist spacing)]:
Lets assume that a -thick plywood sheathing will be used for this project. From
Tables 4-2 and 4-3, for 3/4"-thick plywood:

F
b
= 1545 psi F
S
= 57 psi E = 1,500,000 psi
S = 0.412 in.
3
I = 0.197 in.
4
Ib/Q = 6.762 in.
2

41/121

ATCE-II TEMPORARY STRUCTURES LESSON 2: CONCRETE FORMWORK DESIGN (HORIZONTAL)
Page 5 of 17
Since forms will have continuing reuse, do not adjust base design values for short

CHECK BENDING
Since the sheathing thickness is selected, determine its maximum allowable span,
which is the maximum spacing of joists. For design purposes, consider a 1-foot-
wide strip of plywood. Then:
lb/lf 150 ft. 1 psf 150 of load design = = w
in. 6 . 22
150
412 . 0 1545
95 . 10 =

= =
w
S F
l
b

CHECK DEFLECTION
Knowing the sheathing thickness, calculate the maximum allowable span which
satisfies deflection requirements. Since no deflection requirement is specified,
assume l/360 of the span. For 360 l = :
in. 2 . 21 1970 69 . 1
150
197 . 0 1500000
69 . 1 69 . 1
3
3 3
= =

= =
w
EI
l
For = 1/16 in.:
in. 5 . 21 1970 23 . 3
150
197 . 0 1500000
23 . 3 23 . 3
4
4 4
= =

= =
w
EI
l
CHECK ROLLING SHEAR
Plywood sheathing should be checked for rolling shear (just as it is in vertical
form design). For design purposes, consider a 1-foot-wide strip of plywood.
Then:
Ib
Q
wL
Ib
VQ
F
S
= = 6 . 0 since V = 0.6wL
So: inches 51.4 or ft. 28 . 4 762 . 6
150 6 . 0
57
6 . 0
=

= =
Q
Ib
w
F
L
S

l = 21.2 in. governs. Use 5 equal spaces of 19.2 inches on an 8-ft. wide
plywood sheet.
Step 3: Joist Size and Spacing of Stringers to Support the Joists:
Select a joist size and material to be used, then the spacing can be determined
based on the size and material selected for the joist. Assume 24 construction
grade Douglas-Fir-Larch to be used for joists (forms are used repeatedly, so there
three or more spans. From Table 4-2: F
b
= 1000 psi and F
V
= 95 psi and should
be adjusted for horizontal shear by a factor of 2 (refer to Table 6-3, page 6-9). E =
1,500,000 psi.
psi 190 95 0 . 2 = =
V
F
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ATCE-II TEMPORARY STRUCTURES LESSON 2: CONCRETE FORMWORK DESIGN (HORIZONTAL)
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The uniformly distributed load on the joist is:
lf lb 240 psf 150
ft. in. 12
in. 19.2
ft. in. 12
in. spacing, Joist
= = = w
From Table 4-1B, for S4S 24s: bd = 5.25 in.
2
, I = 5.36 in.
4
, and S = 3.06 in.
3

CHECK BENDING
Since the joist size is known, calculate its maximum allowable span, which is the
maximum allowable spacing of the stringers.
in. 1 . 39
240
06 . 3 1000
95 . 10 95 . 10 =

=
w
S F
l
b

CHECK DEFLECTION
Calculate the maximum allowable span that satisfies the deflection requirements,
in this case l/360 of the span. For = l/360
in. 5 . 54 24 . 32 69 . 1 33500 69 . 1
240
36 . 5 1500000
69 . 1 69 . 1
3
3 3
= = =

= =
w
EI
l
CHECK SHEAR
Using Equation 6-12 (page 6-8, text), and solving for L:
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ATCE-II TEMPORARY STRUCTURES LESSON 2: CONCRETE FORMWORK DESIGN (HORIZONTAL)
Page 7 of 17
ft. 20 . 5 24 14 . 41 190
12
5 . 3 2
25 . 5
240 9 . 0
190
12
2 9 . 0
= =

= L L L
d
L
bd
w
f
V

or L = 59.5 in.
Comparing the three spans calculated above, l = 39.1 in. governs. Considering
1515 ft. bays and desire for uniform spacing, 36 inch spacing is a reasonable
number. This means that the spacing of stringers will be at 5 equal spaces per bay
( ) feet 15 inches 180 6 3 5 = =
Step 4: Stringer Size and Span (Shore Spacing):
lf lb 50 4 psf 150
ft. in. 12
in. 36
ft. in. 12
in. spacing, Stinger
= = = w
Assume that 44 Construction grade Douglas-Fir-Larch stringers are to be used in
this project. Knowing the size of the stringer, design for stringer span (which
establishes a maximum spacing of the shores), using bending, deflection and shear
criteria. From Table 4-1B for S4S 44s:
bd = 12.25 in.
2
, I = 12.50 in.
4
, and S = 7.15 in.
3
; and d = 3.5 in.
CHECK BENDING
Stringer size is known, then calculate the maximum allowable stringer span (shore
spacing).
in. 6 . 43
450
15 . 7 1000
95 . 10 95 . 10 =

=
w
S F
l
V

CHECK DEFLECTION
For the stringer size specified, calculate the maximum allowable span which
meets the l/360 of the span deflection requirement. For = l/360
in. 6 . 58 67 . 34 69 . 1 7 . 41666 69 . 1
450
50 . 12 1500000
69 . 1 69 . 1
3
3 3
= = =

= =
w
EI
l
CHECK SHEAR
Using Equation 6-12, for continuous beam:
in. 9 . 75 ft 33 . 6 58 . 0 75 . 5
12
5 . 3 2
450 9 . 0
25 . 12 190

12
2
9 . 0
= = + =

= +

= L
d
w
bd F
L
V

From the above calculations, l = 43.6 in. governs. Meaning that stringers
CANNOT be more than 42.5 inches apart (span of singers). HOWEVER, in order
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ATCE-II TEMPORARY STRUCTURES LESSON 2: CONCRETE FORMWORK DESIGN (HORIZONTAL)
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to select an appropriate span, we must consider the dimensions of the bay. The
15-ft. bay could be divided into 5 equal spaces of 36 inches ( ) [ ] in. 36 5 in. 180 =
which is less than the maximum allowable span of 42.5 in. Alternatively, we can
check the possibility of using a deeper stinger, i.e. 36, in order to increase the
shore spacing. Since bending is dominant here, we will check bending for a 36
member. For S4S 36s from Table 4-2: F
b
= 1000 psf, and from Table 4-1B, S =
12.60 in.
3

in. 9 . 57 29 . 5 95 . 10
450
60 . 12 1000
95 . 10 95 . 10 = =

=
w
S F
l
b

Now we can use 45-in. (3'-9") support spacing for the 36 stringers, which will
divide the bay into 5 equal spaces.
Step 5: Shore Design to Support Stringers:
Stringers are placed 36-inches apart, supported by shores spaced 45 inches apart. The
area of support for each shore is:
2
in. 25 . 11
12
45
12
36
Area =

=
Then the total load per shore is:
lb. 1688 psf 150 ft. 25 . 11
2
=
Figure below shows the formwork design and components graphically up to this
point.

Adjustable patented steel shores which carry 3000 lb. safe working load are available
and satisfactory for this job. Alternatively, if wood shoring is desirable, refer to Table
7-11 for wood shoring material. Both 34 and 44 are more than adequate to carry
1688 lbs for an effective length of 8 ft.
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Step 6: Check Bearing Stresses:
Bearing should be checked where stringers bear on shores and where joists bear on
stringers.
Stringers bearing on shore:
Assume the head piece of the adjustable steel shore is 113 5/8". The 36 stringer
is actually 2 in. thick.
Figure below shows the stringer resting on the shore graphically.

If the headpiece is placed parallel to the stringer, bearing area is 211 0r 28.75
in.
2
. Bearing stress will be:
psi 59
75 . 28
1688
area bearing
=
This is well below the base F
c
, which is obtained from Table 4-2 (the value of
compression to grain, F
c
, for No. 2 24 Douglas Fir-Larch is 625 psi).
Joist bearing on Stringers:
The two members are 1 and 2 in. wide.
Contact bearing area = 21 = 3.75 in.
2

Average load transmitted by joist to stringer is:
Joist spacing joist span form load
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ATCE-II TEMPORARY STRUCTURES LESSON 2: CONCRETE FORMWORK DESIGN (HORIZONTAL)
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lb. 720 150
12
36
12
2 . 19
=
psi 192
in. 75 . 3
lb 720
2
=
Bearing at this point is also low relative to the 625 psi base value for F
c
.
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ATCE-II TEMPORARY STRUCTURES LESSON 2: CONCRETE FORMWORK DESIGN (HORIZONTAL)
Page 11 of 17
FORMWORK DESIGN TABLES
Based on the principles outlined so far, safe spans for many timber and plywood
formwork components have been calculated and arranged in tables for use by
formwork designer. The tables cover single span beams, two-span beams, and beams
continuous over three or more spans carrying a uniform distributed load. The tables
can be used to develop a preliminary design for cases where rigorous structural
analysis is required for formwork design.
Four sets of allowable (adjusted) stresses are included in the tables.
of No. 2 grade Southern Pine and Douglas Fir-Larch.
Fir and No. 2 Hem-Fir.
Table 7-1 shows the expressions which are used to calculate the safe support spacings
(spans).
Table 7-1: Expressions Used in Calculating the Safe Support Spacings of Chapter 7
Design Tables

The tables are in four groups:
1. Table 7-2 through 7-4 for plywood sheathing
2. Tables 7-5 through 7-7 for joists, studs, stringers or any other beam components of
the formwork where framing members are used singly
3. Tables 7-8 through 7-10 for wales or other formwork components where the
members are used double
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Nominal lumber sizes are shown in the tables. All calculations are based on lumber
finished on all four surfaces (S4S). Actual thicknesses are shown for plywood. In
each table, it is shown whether the safe span is controlled by bending, deflection or
shear.

Sheathing Design: Tables 7-2 to 7-4
Tables 7-2, 7-3, and 7-4 were calculated for both long term and short term loading
using the information from Table 4-2, for face grain parallel and perpendicular to
direction of the span. Tables 7-2 through 7-4 are applicable to plywood sheathing for
columns, slabs, and walls. They cover plywood supports as a single span beam, two
span beam, or a beam continuous over three or more spans. Theoretical deflection of
spans in these tables do not exceed 1/16 in.
Joists, Studs, Beams: Tables 7-5 to 7-7
Tables 7-5, 7-6, and 7-7 are applicable to joists, studs, or any other form members
loaded uniformly as a beam. Tables 7-5.1 through 7-5.4 are beams continuous over
three or more spans with the following adjusted (allowable) stresses:
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ATCE-II TEMPORARY STRUCTURES LESSON 2: CONCRETE FORMWORK DESIGN (HORIZONTAL)
Page 13 of 17

Joists, Studs, Beams: Tables 7-5 to 7-7
Tables 7-6 and 7-7 are like Table 7-5, except that span length are calculated for
simply supported and two-span rather than continuous beams.
Note: Beam sizes are given in conventional fashion with b or the width of beam face
to which load is applied given first and the second number indicating depth of beam
or d.
2x4 (nominal size):

4x2 (nominal):

Double Members: Tables 7-8 to 7-10
Tables 7-8, 7-9 and 7-10 are similar to Tables 7-5, 7-6, and 7-7 in terms of allowable
(adjusted) stresses and general layout, but they cover double members which are
commonly used for wales and frequently for stringers. Spans are calculated on the
basis of these members side by side with their longer dimension as the depth of the
beam.
Wood Shores: Tables 7-11 and 7-12
Table 7-11 shows allowable loads on wood shores for some of the more commonly
used timber sizes, with base value of compression parallel to the grain Fc ranging
from 1100 to 1600 psi, with modulus of elasticity values from 1,200,000 psi to
1,600,000 psi. Table 7-11 shows no load when l /d exceeds the recommended limit of
50.
Flat Slab Example:
Use the design tables in Chapter 7 to make a preliminary selection of a stringer, joist,
and sheathing combination suitable for forming a flat slab with dead plus live load of
200 psf supported on shores spaced 4 ft on centers in both directions. Assume that
No. 2 Douglas-Fir Larch is selected for multiple-use forms.
From Table 4-2, the base stress values are:
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Page 14 of 17
F
b
= 875 psi
F
v
= 95 psi
E = 1,600,000 psi
As explained above, Tables 7-5.1, 7-6.1, and 7-7.1 are developed with adjusted
stresses that can be applied for No. 2 Douglas Fir-Larch or Southern Pine, under long
term loads, with conditions as stated.
STRINGERS
With shores placed 4 ft on centers both ways, the stringers will be 4 ft apart and have
a span of 4 ft between supports.
Stringer
Shore
4 ft.
4 ft.

They will be designed as continuous beams with an equivalent uniform load equal to
the distance between stringers times the uniform load on the formwork (psf):
4 ft 200 psf = 800 lb/lf
Use Table 7-5.1, since the stringers will be continuous over three or more spans.
Enter the table at the left on the 800 lb/lf load line.
Note which members can be used for stringers having a 48-in. span. Among the
smaller members that are suitable are:
210 Allowable span 55
38 Allowable span 59
46 Allowable span 55
The 210 provides the necessary span with the least lumber (but check with local
suppliers for availability).
Shore spacing places the stringers 4 ft apart, and this 4 ft then is the span of the joists.
How joists are spaced depends on requirements of the sheathing. Assume 3/4-in.
Plywood Class I or equal quality plywood is used with its face running in the direction
of the span. Since sheathing is continuous over several spans, refer to Table 7-2. The
right side of the table, with F
V
= 1545 psi, applies since this is a multiple-use form.
From the column for 3/4-in. thickness with face grain parallel to the span, for load of
200 psf, read the allowable span of 19 in.
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ATCE-II TEMPORARY STRUCTURES LESSON 2: CONCRETE FORMWORK DESIGN (HORIZONTAL)
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In order to use 48 sheets of plywood efficiently, a span of 96 5 or 19.2 inches
probably will be used, dividing each 8-ft. piece of plywood into five equal spans,
while permitting edge support for the plywood panels.
JOISTS
This 19.2-inch becomes the required joist spacing, and joist span has already been
fixed at 4-ft.
What is the required joist size?
(19.2 / 12) 200 =320 lb/lf
Again using Table 7-5.1 since joists are continuous over several spans, note that a 26
loaded at 300 lb/lf has an allowable span of 59 in. and at 400 lb/lf has an allowable
span of 51 in.
By inspection, the 26 appears to be the lightest joist that would be satisfactory on a
48-in. span.
But also consider the 44 which has an allowable span of 53 in. at 400 lb/lf. The 4x4
is often selected for this type of form, because its shape provides inherent lateral
stability.
Bearing
A check of bearing stresses where joists rest on stringers and where stringers rest on
Use the tables to determine spacing of wall form members, assuming continuous reuse
of the forms and No. 2 grade Douglas Fir-Larch or equal lumber, with sheathing of
plywood. Design a 10-ft high wall form for a maximum lateral pressure of 600 psf,
assuming no reduction of pressure near the top of the form.
SHEATHING
Assuming that 1-in. plywood is used with face grain vertical, the grain will be
perpendicular to the span between the studs, and plywood will be continuous across
several spans.
The right side of Table 7-2 applies because the lower stress levels are recommended
when forms are designed for continuing reuse, and the far right column applies
because the face grain is perpendicular to the span.
Entering the table at 600 psf level, we find span of 13 in.
It is decided to set the studs 12 in. O.C. so that they can be uniformly spaced and also
support plywood at the panel edges.
STUDS
With the studs 12 in. apart, the load per lineal ft is
12/12(600) or 600 lb per ft.
Assuming that the studs are continuous over three or more spans, refer to Table7-5.1
for choice of span and member. Entering table at left on the 600 lb/lf load line, the
34 stud has an allowable span of 37 in. Support for studs (wale or ties) would be
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ATCE-II TEMPORARY STRUCTURES LESSON 2: CONCRETE FORMWORK DESIGN (HORIZONTAL)
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needed at about 3-ft intervals. Placing top and bottom wales 6 in above bottom of
form and 6 in. below top of form would permit use of four wales spaced 3 ft apart.
WALES
If double wales are spaced ft apart, the equivalent uniform load per lineal ft is
36/12 (600) = 1800 lb per ft.
Assuming continuity of wales, the left side of Table 7-8.1 would be used to determine
spacing of wale supports. Entering the table from left on the 1800 lb/lf load line, a
convenient span and double member combination may be chosen from the left side of
Douglas fir-Larch of Southern Pine.
For example, if double 26 wales are used the spacing between ties that support the
wales can be a maximum of 33 in.
A check of the load capacity of available ties might help in confirming the wale
selection.
If the double 26 were used with supporting ties spaced at 33 in., the average tie load
would be
33/12 36/12 600 = 4950 lb
A tie with a safe working load of 5000 lb should be selected. With a tie spacing of 24
in., the necessary tie capacity will be 3600 lb. [24/12 36/12 600 = 3600 lb]
53/121

University of Washington

DEPARTMENT OF Construction Management

CM 420
TEMPORARY STRUCTURES

Winter Quarter 2007

Professor Kamran M. Nemati

Temporary Structures

Shor i ng, sc af f ol di ng, and
under pi nni ng

54/121

CM 420

TEMPORARY STRUCTURES

Lesson 3: Shoring, scaffolding, and underpinning
Overview
Shoring and scaffolding are the most frequent temporary structures in building construction.
This lesson includes design, hardware, and installation of these systems. The last part of the
lesson is underpinning, which is the installation of temporary or permanent support to an
existing foundation to provide either additional depth or an increase in bearing capacity.
Lesson Objectives
By the end of this lesson you will be able to:
explain shoring and how it is accomplished;
describe scaffolding and its different types and application;
describe underpinning, when it is needed, and how it is done.
M.K. Hurd, Chapter 4: 4-51-4-55 and Chapter 5: 5-3-5-7.

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Page 2 of 14
Shoring
In multistory work, the shoring which supports freshly placed concrete is necessarily
supported by lower floors which may not yet have attained their full strength, and which may
not have been designed to carry loads as great as those imposed during construction.
Therefore shoring must be provided for enough floors to develop the needed capacity to
support the imposed loads without excessive stress or deflection. Whether permanent shores
or reshores are used at the several required lower floor levels depends on job plans for reused
of materials as well as the rate of strength gain in the structure.
There are several types of adjustable individual shores. The simplest of these, is based on
claming device which permits the overlapping of two 24 members.

Figure 1 - Using a clamping device, shores are made by joining two pieces of dimension
lumber which also facilitates length adjustment
A portable jacking tool is used to make vertical adjustments. Metal shore jack fittings are
available to fit over the end of 44 or 66 wood shore, thus transforming the piece of lumber
into an adjustable shore, as shown in Figure 2. These devices are capable of varying the shore
height as much as 12 inches.

Figure 2 - Metal fitting are placed at the end
of square lumber, making them

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CM 420 TEMPORARY STRUCTURES LESSON 3: SHORING, SCAFFOLDING, AND UNDERPINNING

Page 3 of 14
A number of patented shoring systems have been developed with adjustable legs which
eliminate cutting, close fitting, and wedging. Figure 3 shows schematic diagram of one such
device.

Figure 3 - Shoring system with adjustable legs
Figure 4 shows a picture where this device is being utilized.

Figure 4 - Application of shoring system with adjustable legs
Scaffold-Type Shoring
Tubular steel form scaffolding was first designed to support loads imposed by the workers
getting to the work area. Since the system of jacks in the tubular steel scaffolding makes it
easy to adjust and level elevations, it is often used as a support for formwork. Since it is a
modular assembly, it makes it an attractive option for rapid utilization for formwork support.
A schematic diagram of a tubular steel scaffolding or shoring tower is shown in Figure 5.
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CM 420 TEMPORARY STRUCTURES LESSON 3: SHORING, SCAFFOLDING, AND UNDERPINNING

Page 4 of 14

Figure 5 - A shoring tower is made by assembling end frames with diagonal braces
Figure 6 shows shoring towers being used in the construction of the new Computer Science
building at the University of Washington campus.

Figure 6 - application of shoring towers

Scaffolding
Scaffolding has been used for many centuries to provide access areas for building and
decorating structures taller than people who work on them (Figure 7).
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CM 420 TEMPORARY STRUCTURES LESSON 3: SHORING, SCAFFOLDING, AND UNDERPINNING

Page 5 of 14

Figure 7 - Walk-through-type frames use by masons
The word scaffolding refers to any raised platform or ramp used for ingress and egress for
pedestrian movement and/or the passage of building materials. Since the mid-1920s the
concept of using steel pipes fastened together with metal-form or cast clamps (couplers)
instead of poles and ropes was introduced.
Aluminum alloy pipes and couplers were developed for their lighter weight and speedier
construction. Aluminum alloy is only two-thirds as strong as steel, but it is only one-third to
one-half its weight. Because of the higher initial cost, aluminum is restricted mostly to
building maintenance scaffolds and suspended platforms.

General Design Considerations
It is a common practice to use a minimum factor of safety of four in the design of all
scaffoldings, meaning that scaffolds and their components can support four times the
maximum design load without experiencing failure. For this reason, the design load is
multiplied by a factor of 4, before and determining limiting strength and yield stress of the
metal used in the engineering design of scaffolds and their components.
According to OSHA and ANSI criteria and many years of experience with these systems,
design load ratings for scaffold platforms are as follows:
2
maximum working load for support of people and tools
(no equipment or material storage on the platform).
2
maximum working load for people and material often
described as applying to bricklayers and plasters work.
2
maximum working load for people and stored material
often described as applying to stone masonry work.
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Page 6 of 14
These ratings assume uniform load distribution. With the exception of the weight of stored
materials, scaffold loads most often consist of personnel, both stationary and transitory. It is
important to remember that the OSHA and ANSI load-rating system is intended for guidance
of field personnel in the construction and use of nonspecifically engineered scaffolding
applications.
Tube and Coupler Scaffolds
Tube and coupler scaffolds are assembled from three basic structural elements:
the uprights, or posts, which rise from ground or other solid support
the bearer, which supports the work platforms and / or provide transverse horizontal
connections between the posts;
the runners, which attach to the posts directly below the bearers and provide longitudinal
connections along the length of the scaffold.
These three elements are usually connected with standard or fixed couplers which provide a
90 connection in two places and are shown in Figures 8a and 8b. Figure 8c shows the tube
and coupler scaffold used on a job site.

Figure 8a - The basic assembly of tube and coupler scaffolds

Figure 8b - The basic components of tube and coupler scaffolds
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CM 420 TEMPORARY STRUCTURES LESSON 3: SHORING, SCAFFOLDING, AND UNDERPINNING

Page 7 of 14

Figure 8c - Tube and coupler scaffolds used in the construction of the new Computer Science
Building at the University of Washington
Diagonal bracing is used to stiffen the structure as necessary, most important in the
longitudinal direction. Bracing is generally connected to the posts with adjustable or
swivel couplers which have the facility of adjusting a full 360. Diagonal bracing should
always be attached to the posts as closely as practical to the node points formed by the
runner-bearer connections.
Another important structural element is the building tie which connects the scaffold to the
wall or structure and is needed to provide rigidity and anchorage of the scaffold in the
transverse direction. Scaffolds need to be laterally supported; otherwise, they are unstable
because of their height-to-width ratio and have low strength to resist wind and other lateral
forces. Figures 9a through 9c below show a number of methods to provide anchorage of
scaffolding to the structure.
Methods of stabilizing against a building
(a) Wall tie and anchorage

Figure 9a - Wall tie and anchorage
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CM 420 TEMPORARY STRUCTURES LESSON 3: SHORING, SCAFFOLDING, AND UNDERPINNING

Page 8 of 14
(b) Window reveal tube

Figure 9b - Window reveal tube
(c) Reveal between pilasters

Figure 9c - Reveal between pilasters

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CM 420 TEMPORARY STRUCTURES LESSON 3: SHORING, SCAFFOLDING, AND UNDERPINNING

Page 9 of 14
Tube and Coupler Scaffolds: APPLICATION
Tube and coupler scaffolds can be assembled in many different ways because of the flexibility
of their assembly dimensions in the horizontal and vertical planes. Tube and coupler
scaffolds are more adaptable since they are not restricted by frame width in the transverse
direction or by brace length in the longitudinal direction or by frame height in the vertical
direction (unlike sectional frame scaffolds which is going to be discussed later in this lesson).
Therefore for cases of irregular dimensions and contours, such as churches or old auditoriums,
tube and coupler scaffolds become the preferred option since it makes access to the work
place easier.
Tube and Coupler Scaffolds: BASIC CONFIGURATIONS
The basic configurations are as follows:
1. Double Pole. Double Pole or Independent Pole Scaffold is a scaffold supported from the
base by a double row of uprights, independent of support from the walls and constructed
of uprights, ledgers, horizontal platform bearers, and diagonal bracing (Figure 10a).

Figure 10a Double or independent pole scaffold
2. Single Pole. Single Pole Scaffold is a platform resting on putlogs (putlog is a scaffold
member upon which the platform rests) or crossbeams, the outside ends of which are
supported on ledgers secured to a single row of posts or uprights and the inner ends of
which are supported on or in a wall.
3. Tower Scaffolds. These consist of one or few bays in either horizontal plane, constructed
conveniently achievable with sectional frames. They may be mounted on casters and
become mobile scaffolds or rolling towers, as shown in Figure 10b.
An application of tower scaffolds is to provide stair access to unusual structures such as
cooling towers.

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CM 420 TEMPORARY STRUCTURES LESSON 3: SHORING, SCAFFOLDING, AND UNDERPINNING

Page 10 of 14

Figure 10b - Rolling scaffold with stand-off

Generally, in the U.S. pipe is classified by its internal diameter (ID) and tubing by its outside
diameter (OD). The most common pipe or tube used in tube and coupler scaffolds is 2-inch
OD. For scaffolding purposes, tubing is manufactured to 1 29/32 inch OD (often referred to
as 2-inch nominal OD pipe or tube) is designated as pipe size tubing.
Sectional Scaffolding
The construction principle of sectional scaffolding is shown in Figure 11.

Figure 11 - Basic assembly of sectional
scaffolding
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CM 420 TEMPORARY STRUCTURES LESSON 3: SHORING, SCAFFOLDING, AND UNDERPINNING

Page 11 of 14
Sectional scaffolding is available in many frame configurations. Most frames are available in
the widths of 2, 3, and 5 feet. Some special purpose frames are available in 4 and 6 feet
widths (6-ft frames are used in sidewalk canopies). Standard frame heights are 3, 4, 5, 6, and
6.5 feet high for sidewalk canopies. The frames are also available in heights of 7.5, 8, and 10
feet. Figure 12 shows some typical representative frame designs.

Figure 12 Representative designs of sectional scaffolding frames
The most common material used in the fabrication of steel frames is 1 5/8-in. OD tubing
with a wall thickness between 0.086 and 0.105 in. The most common grade of steel used for
this purpose is AISI designation A1050, a high-carbon alloy having a minimum yield stress of
50,000 psi with a corresponding ultimate stress of over 75,000 psi. The higher carbon steel is
generally preferred because its lower ductility and greater rigidity make it more resistant to
damaging and bending of the members and because it has greater strength.
Underpinning
Underpinning is the installation of temporary or permanent support to an existing foundation
to provide either additional depth or an increase in bearing capacity. There are several
existing conditions which may lead to the need for underpinning. They are
Construction of a new project with a deeper foundation adjacent to an existing building
Settlement of an existing structure
Change in use of a structure
Addition of a basement below an existing structure
Settlement of existing structures in many cases is caused by lowering of the water table due to
tidal fluctuations, wells for a water district, etc. This lowering of the water table can cause the
tops of timber piles to decay over time and will require remedial underpinning. With certain
soil profiles, rising of the water table can effect a decrease in bearing capacity of the soil
causing settlement and require underpinning.
Construction of structures on unsuitable bearing material or over compressible layer (peat,
organic silts, or poorly compacted backfill) may cause settlement.
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Page 12 of 14
Determining the need for underpinning
Underpinning is the direct support of an existing building foundation. It provides the
opportunity to preload (i.e., jacking) to limit settlement and improve poor foundations. When
a structure starts showing signs of settlement or distress, it is of utmost importance to
precisely monitor the settlement or movement by a professional on a daily, weekly, or
monthly basis, depending on the severity of the movements. Plotting these readings will
indicate if the movements are decreasing or increasing, and by analyzing the results, a
decision can be made whether or not underpinning (or other measures) are required to
safeguard the structure.
Prior to the start of excavation for a new structure, it is advisable to have a professional
examine all structures in close proximity to the construction site, to determine whether or not
underpinning is necessary.
Underpinning Methods
Temporary support with Maintenance Jacking
Light structures (for example, wood-frame garages) that fall within the influence line of the
adjacent excavation and which do not warrant the expense of an underpinning installation
may me supported on timber or concrete mats.
If settlement occurs, the structure will be kept at the same level by means of mechanical or
hydraulic jacks, as shown in Figure 13.

Figure 13 - Temporary support with maintenance jacking
At completion of the work in the adjacent lot, the jacks are replaced with short steel columns,
and the void is filled with concrete. Figures 14 shows the steps required for underpinning.
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Page 13 of 14

Existing foundation condition prior to
underpinning
Step 1:
Shore existing construction, excavate
approach pit, and expose existing timber
piles.
Remove top portion of the piles and cut
piles at new cut-off elevation.

Step 2:
Install steel plates, drypack, and wedging
strut. Transfer load into pile by means of
steel wedges.
Step 3:
Placement of concrete encasement, backfill
approach pit.
Figure 14 - Underpinning timber-pile foundation
Underpinning Methods - Bracket Pile Underpinning
When both the existing and future structures belong to the same owner, the use of bracket
piles is very economical (most municipal building codes do not allow a building to be
supported on the foundation that is located on someone elses property). The steel bracket
piles are driven or placed adjacent to the future structure in pre-augured holes which are then
backfilled with a lean sand-cement mix. The load is transferred from the structure into the
pile through a steel bracket welded to the side of the pile. A combination of steel plates,
wedges, and drypack is installed to ensure a tight fit between the structure and the bracket, as
shown in Figure 15.
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Page 14 of 14

Figure 15 - Bracket pile detail
This type of underpinning can be utilized for structures up to two stories high, depending on
the weight of the building and the quality of the bearing material at subgrade or the new
structure. The spacing of the piles depends on the load distribution in the existing structure.
The maximum spacing should not exceed 8 feet.
EXAMPLE:
California Palace of the Legion of Honor, San Francisco, California

Legion of Honor Memorial, originally built in 1922. The construction of new galleries
underneath the existing courtyard required shoring the perimeter of the building with
conventional soldier beams, tiebacks and lagging. The courtyard colonnades, the entrance
arch and the porch structure of the building needed to be supported during construction. The
contractor supported the structures with needle beams spanning between drilled soldier beams
and/or existing walls. The structures were jacked to transfer the load to the underpinning
elements. New service and ventilation tunnels were added inside and underneath the existing
building which required underpinning a total of 46 columns with load of up to 250,000
pounds.

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UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON

DEPARTMENT OF CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT

CM 420
TEMPORARY STRUCTURES

Winter Quarter 2007

Professor Kamran M. Nemati

Temporary Structures

Cof f er dams

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CM 420

TEMPORARY STRUCTURES

Lesson 4: Cofferdams
Overview
A cofferdam is a temporary structure designed to keep water and/or soil out of the excavation
in which a bridge pier or other structure is built. When construction must take place below
the water level, a cofferdam is built to give workers a dry work environment. Sheet piling is
driven around the work site, seal concrete is placed into the bottom to prevent water from
seeping in from underneath the sheet piling, and the water is pumped out. The word
"cofferdam" comes from "coffer" meaning box, in other words a dam in the shape of a box.
This lesson covers structural cofferdams as temporary installation, explaining in step-by-step
detail proper and safe methods and materials to be used. There are different types of
cofferdam, some are used to support excavation operation and some are enclosed type box
placed in the water. The focus of this lesson is on the latter type.
Lesson Objectives
By the end of this lesson you will be able to:
describe cofferdams and when they are used on construction projects;
describe the forces on cofferdams
explain design considerations;
recognize the importance of sealing the bottom of cofferdams
Class notes
Optional reading: Ratay, Chapter 7 "Cofferdams".
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CM 420 TEMPORARY STRUCTURES LESSON 4: COFFERDAMS
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1. INTRODUCTION
Cofferdams are temporary enclosures to keep out water and soil so as to permit
dewatering and construction of the permanent facility (structure) in the dry.
A cofferdam involves the interaction of the structure, soil, and water. The loads imposed
include the hydrostatic forces of the water, as well as the dynamic forces due to currents
and waves.
In construction of cofferdams maintaining close tolerances is difficult since cofferdams
are usually constructed offshore and sometimes under severe weather conditions. Under
these circumstances, significant deformations of cofferdam elements may happen during
the course of construction, and therefore it may be necessary to deviate from the design
dimensions in order to complete the project according to plan.
The loads imposed on the cofferdam structure by construction equipment and operations
must be considered, both during installation of the cofferdam and during construction of
the structure itself.
Removal of the cofferdam must be planned and executed with the same degree of care as
its installation, on a stage-by-stage basis. The effect of the removal on the permanent
structure must also be considered. For this reason, sheet piles extending below the
permanent structure are often cut off and left in place, since their removal may damage the
foundation soils adjacent to the structure.
In cofferdam construction, safety is a paramount concern, since workers will be exposed
to the hazard of flooding and collapse.
Safety requires that every cofferdam and every part thereof shall be of suitable design and
construction, of suitable and sound material and of sufficient strength and capacity for the
purpose for which it is used, proper construction, verification that the structure is being
constructed as planned, monitoring the behavior of the cofferdam and surrounding area,
provision of adequate access, light and ventilation, and attention to safe practices on the
part of all workers and supervisors, and shall be properly maintained.

Types of cofferdam:
1. Braced: It is formed from a single wall of sheet piling which is driven into the ground to
form a box around the excavation site. The box is then braced on the inside and the
interior is dewatered. It is primarily used for bridge piers in shallow water (30 - 35 ft
depth)
2. Earth-Type: It is the simplest type of cofferdam. It consists of an earth bank with a clay
core or vertical sheet piling enclosing the excavation. It is used for low-level waters with
low velocity and easily scoured by water rising over the top.
3. Timber Crib: Constructed on land and floated into place. Lower portion of each cell is
matched with contour of river bed. It uses rock ballast and soil to decrease seepage and
sink into place, also known as Gravity Dam. It usually consists of 12x12 cells and is
used in rapid currents or on rocky river beds. It must be properly designed to resist lateral
forces such as tipping / overturning and sliding.
4. Double-Walled Sheet Pile: They are double wall cofferdams comprising two parallel
rows of sheet piles driven into the ground and connected together by a system of tie rods
at one or more levels. The space between the walls is generally filled with granular
material such as sand, gravel or broken rock.
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5. Cellular: Cellular cofferdams are used only in those circumstances where the excavation
size precludes the use of cross-excavation bracing. In this case, the cofferdam must be
stable by virtue of its own resistance to lateral forces.

Performing work over water has always been more difficult and costly than performing the
same work on land. And when the work is performed below water, the difficulties and cost
difference can increase geometrically with the depth at which the work is performed. The key
to performing marine construction work efficiently is to minimize work over water, and
perform as much of the work as possible on land. Below some of the advantages of
cofferdams are listed:
Allow excavation and construction of structures in otherwise poor environment
Provides safe environment to work
Contractors typically have design responsibility
Steel sheet piles are easily installed and removed
Materials can typically be reused on other projects
Installation
The success of any piling scheme requires satisfactory completion of the following stages.
1. Competent site investigation, sampling and relevant testing to build up an informed
2. Adequate design of all the stages of the construction.
3. Setting out and installation of the piles.
As with all site operations the relevant legislation and guidance on matters pertaining to safety
must be strictly adhered to. Items needed for installation are pile driving hammer (vibratory
or impact), crane of sufficient size, steel sheet piles are typically used, H-piles and/or wide-
flange beams for wales and stringers. In many cases barges may be required for efficient
installation of cofferdams.
A typical cofferdam will experience several loading conditions as it is being build and during
the various construction stages. The significant forces are hydrostatic pressure, forces due to
order to over come the displaced water buoyancy, the tremie seal thickness is about equal to
the dewatered depth. Figure below shows a typical cofferdam schematic.
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CM 420 TEMPORARY STRUCTURES LESSON 4: COFFERDAMS
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Figure 0 Typical cofferdam schematic

Hydrostatic pressure
The maximum probable height outside the cofferdam during construction and the
water height inside the cofferdam during various stages of construction need to be
considered. These result in the net design pressure shown in Fig. 1 below:

Figure 1 - Hydrostatic forces on partially dewatered cofferdam
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CM 420 TEMPORARY STRUCTURES LESSON 4: COFFERDAMS
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The soils impose forces, both locally on the wall of the cofferdam and globally upon
the structure as a whole. These forces are additive to the hydrostatic forces.
Local forces are a major component of the lateral force on sheet-pile walls, causing
bending in the sheets, bending in the wales, and axial compression in the struts (see
Fig. 2).

Figure 2 - Soil force in typical
weak muds or clays

Current Forces on Structure
With a typical cofferdam, the current force consists not only the force acting on the
normal projection of the cofferdam but also on the drag force acting along the sides.
With flat sheet piles, the latter may be relatively small, whereas with z-piles it may be
substantial, since the current will be forming eddies behind each indentation of profile,
as shown in Fig. 3.

Figure 3 Current flow along sheet piles
Wave forces
Waves acting on a cofferdam are usually the result of local winds acting over a
restricted fetch and hence are of short wavelength and limited to height. However, in
some cases the cofferdam should have at least three feet of freeboard or higher above
the design high water elevation than the maximum expected wave height. Wave
forces will be significant factor in large bays and lakes where the fetch is several
miles. Passing boats and ships, especially in a restricted waterway, can also produce
waves. The force generated by waves is asymmetrical and must be carried to the
ground through the sheet piling in shear and bending. The waler system must be
designed to transmit the wave forces to the sheet piles.
Ice forces
These are of two types: the force exerted by the expansion of a closed-in solidly
frozen-over area of water surface (static ice force) and the forces exerted by the
moving ice on breakup (dynamic ice force). As an example, for static ice force, a
value of 4000 lb/ft
2
has been used on cofferdams and structures on the great Lakes,
whereas the value due to dynamic ice force on a cofferdam-type structure are often
taken at 12,000 to 14,000 lb/ft
2
of contact area.
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CM 420 TEMPORARY STRUCTURES LESSON 4: COFFERDAMS
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These have not been normally considered in design of temporary structures in the past.
For very large, important, and deep cofferdams in highly seismically active areas,
seismic evaluation should be performed.
These are the loads usually caused by construction equipment working alongside the
cofferdam and impacting on it under the action of waves.
3. Scour:
Scour of the river bottom or seafloor along the cofferdam may take place owing to river
currents, tidal currents, or wave-induced currents. Some of the most serious and
disastrous cases have occurred when these currents have acted concurrently.
A very practical method of preventing scour is to deposit a blanket of crushed rock or
heavy gravel around the cofferdam, either before or immediately after the cofferdam sheet
piles are set. A more sophisticated method is to lay a mattress of filter fabric, covering it
with rock to hold it in place.
4. COFFERDAM COMPONENTS:
Sheet piling
Sheet piling is a manufactured construction product with a mechanical connection
interlock at both ends of the section. These mechanical connections interlock with
one another to form a continuous wall of sheeting. Sheet pile applications are typically
designed to create a rigid barrier for earth and water, while resisting the lateral pressures
of those bending forces. The shape or geometry of a section lends to the structural
strength. In addition, the soil in which the section is driven has numerous mechanical
properties that can affect the performance.
Bracing frame
Concrete seal
The typical cofferdam, such as a bridge pier, consists of sheet piles set around a bracing
frame and driven into the soil sufficiently far to develop vertical and lateral support and to
cut off the flow of soil and, in some cases the flow of water (Fig. 4).

Figure 4 Typical cofferdam without seal or pile
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CM 420 TEMPORARY STRUCTURES LESSON 4: COFFERDAMS
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The structure inside may be founded directly on rock or firm soil or may require pile
foundations. In the latter case, these generally extend well below the cofferdam.
Inside excavation is usually done using clam shell buckets. In order to dewater the
cofferdam, the bottom must be stable and able to resist hydrostatic uplift. Placement of an
underwater concrete seal course is the fastest and most common method.
An underwater concrete seal course may then be placed prior to dewatering in order to
seal off the water, resist its pressure, and also to act as a slab to brace against the inward
movement of the sheet piles in order to mobilize their resistance to uplift under the
hydrostatic pressure (Fig. 5)

Figure 5 Typical cofferdam (with seal)

5. COFFERDAM CONSTRUCTION SEQUENCE:
For a typical cofferdam, such as for a bridge pier, the construction procedure follow the
listed pattern.
1. Pre-dredge to remove soil or soft sediments and level the area of the cofferdam (Fig.
6a).
2. Drive temporary support piles (Fig. 6b).
3. Temporarily erect bracing frame on the support piles (Fig. 6b).
4. Set steel sheet piles, starting at all four corners and meeting at the center of each side
(Fig. 6c).
5. Drive sheet piles to grade (Fig. 6c).
6. Block between bracing frame and sheets, and provide ties for sheet piles at the top as
necessary (Fig. 6c).
7. Excavate inside the grade or slightly below grade, while leaving the cofferdam full of
water (Fig. 7a).
8. Drive bearing piles (Fig. 7b).
9. Place rock fill as a leveling and support course (Fig. 7b).
10. Place tremie concrete seal (Fig. 7c).
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CM 420 TEMPORARY STRUCTURES LESSON 4: COFFERDAMS
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Figure 6 Cofferdam construction sequence (I). (a) Pre-dredge. (b) Drive support piles; set
prefabricated bracing frame and hang from support piles. (c) Set sheet piles; drive sheet piles;
block and tie sheet piles to top wale.
11. Check blocking between bracing and sheets (Fig. 8a).
12. Dewater (Fig. 8a).
13. Construct new structure (Fig. 8a and b).
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CM 420 TEMPORARY STRUCTURES LESSON 4: COFFERDAMS
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Figure 7 Cofferdam construction sequence (II). (a) Excavate initial and final grade. (b)
Drive bearing piles in place. (c) Place tremie concrete.

14. Flood cofferdam (Fig. 8b).
15. Remove sheet piles (Fig. 8c).
16. Remove bracing (Fig. 8c).
17. Backfill (Fig. 8c).
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CM 420 TEMPORARY STRUCTURES LESSON 4: COFFERDAMS
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Figure 8 Cofferdam construction sequence (III). (a) Check blocking; dewater; construct
footing block; block between footing and sheet piles. (b) Remove lower bracing; construct
pier pedestal; construct pier shaft. (c) Flood cofferdam; pull sheets; remove bracing; backfill.

Placement of the concrete seal is by tremie concrete:
The placement of tremie concrete (underwater concrete) is carried out through a tube, usually
10- to 12-in. pipe. This procedure was covered in lesson 3.

Z-Type (Z): Used for intermediate to deepwall construction, Z sections are considered one of
the most efficient piles available today. Z Piles are commonly used for cantilevered and
abutments. Figure 9 shows traditional sheet pile shapes and typical types of interlocks.

Larson / U Type (U): Used for applications similar to Z - Type

Flat / Straight Type (SA), (S): Used for filled cell construction
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CM 420 TEMPORARY STRUCTURES LESSON 4: COFFERDAMS
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Arch shaped & lightweight : Used for shallower wall construction

Typical types of interlocks
Ball & Socket (BS):

Single J aw (SJ )

Double J aw (DJ )

Hook & Grip (HG)

Thumb & Finger
one point contact (TFX)

Double Hook (DH)

Thumb & Finger
three point contact (TF)

Figure 9 - Traditional sheet pile shapes and typical types of interlocks
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CM 420 TEMPORARY STRUCTURES LESSON 4: COFFERDAMS
Page 11 of 13
Examples of cofferdams:
With the ring in place work at the bottom of the cofferdam can proceed in a dry and safe
environment. The steel casing of the drilled shafts is cut off down to the level of the top of
the seal and the bad concrete left in the casing during placing of the shaft is chipped out
leaving good concete and rebars that will extend into the footing making the foundation one
solid unit. In Figure 10 see some of the chipped concrete at some caissons while others have
yet to be chipped.

Figure 10 - Cofferdam for the Sidney Lanier Bridge, Oregon
Braced Cofferdam Construction
Figures 11 and 12 show the installation of wale and strut system for framework /template.
Figure 13 shows pictures of an impact hammer and a vibratory pile driver.

Figure 11 Installation of wale and strut system
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CM 420 TEMPORARY STRUCTURES LESSON 4: COFFERDAMS
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Figure 12 Installation of wale and strut system and driving the sheet piles

Figure 13 An impact hammer and a vibratory pile driver

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Tips for installing Sheet piles:
Always set-up a template system
Rule of thumb: Crane Boom length should be twice that of the sheets
Drive the Sheets with the male interlock leading in order to avoid soil plugs
If the female interlock must lead, place a bolt or other object at the bottom to avoid
debris filling the slot
Align and plumb the first two sheets and drive carefully and accurately
Drive sheets in pairs when possible placing the hammer in the center of the pair
Some contractors recommend not driving a sheet more than 1/3 its length before driving
Letting the sheets "freefall" and drop in order to aid in penetration will generally cause the
sheets to fall "out of plumb"
Cellular cofferdams require that all sheets are set and "closed" before any driving is done
Finally never rush the Pile Foreman!!

Lesson Summary
Every cofferdam is unique and requires thorough analysis. The designer must take into
account a large number of parameters. The design must be compatible with the weather
conditions, waves, currents, construction equipment, construction methods, internal
permanent structures, and ground conditions. Comparable cost studies should be analyzed to
determine if the cofferdam method is favored over other techniques, such as precast or caisson
construction.
83/121

UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON

DEPARTMENT OF CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT

CM 420
TEMPORARY STRUCTURES

Winter Quarter 2007

Professor Kamran M. Nemati

Temporary Structures

Ex c avat i ons and Ex c avat i on
Suppor t s

84/121

CM 420

TEMPORARY STRUCTURES

Lesson 5: Excavations and Excavation Supports
(Earth-Retaining Structures)
Overview
The seventh lesson provides an overview on excavation supports and earth-retaining
structures. Excavation support systems are temporary earth retaining structures that allow the
sides of excavation to be cut vertical or near vertical. They are used to minimize the
excavation area, to keep the sides of deep excavations stable, and to ensure that movements
will not cause damage to neighboring structures or to utilities in the surrounding ground.
Lesson Objectives
By the end of this lesson you will be able to:
describe stability of slopes for excavations and methods of preventing the movement of
excavation walls;
recognize shallow trenches and deep cuts;
describe soldier beam and lagging;
describe soil nailing systems;
recognize excavation bracing systems.
Class notes.
Optional Reading- Ratay, Chapter 8 Earth-Retaining Structures.
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CM 420 TEMPORARY STRUCTURES LESSON 5: EXCAVATIONS AND EXCAVATION SUPPORTS
Page 2 of 14
Introduction
In many construction jobs deep excavations must be made before the structure can be built.
Excavation support systems are temporary earth retaining structures that allow the sides of
excavation to be cut vertical or near vertical. This is done to maximize the size of an
excavation; when the price of real estate is high or space is limited by property lines, utilities
or existing structures. When excavations have the potential to endanger lives or adjacent
properties, bracing to support the soil must be designed. The Occupational Safety and Health
Act (OSHA) requires that all trenches exceeding 5 feet in depth be shored. In large
construction areas, excavation walls may be sloped, instead of providing structural support.
Slope failure mechanisms can be classified in three categories: rotational slump in
homogeneous clay, translational slice in cohesionless sand or gravel, and slip along plane of
weakness. Driving forces are the component of soil weight downslope (forces causing
instability), and resisting forces are the soil strength acting in the opposite direction (resisting
forces). Slope failure occurs when driving forces exceed the resisting forces (Figure 1a).

Figure 1a Slope mechanisms. From top to bottom: rotational slump in homogeneous clay,
translational slide in cohesionless sand or gravel, and slip along plane of weakness.
Factor of safety (FS) is defined as the ratio of resisting forces (or moments) to the driving
forces (or moments). If FS 1, the slope will fail, if FS >1, the slope is theoretically stable.
The usual FS required is between 1.3 and 1.5.
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CM 420 TEMPORARY STRUCTURES LESSON 5: EXCAVATIONS AND EXCAVATION SUPPORTS
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The information required to estimate the factor of safety for a slope are: the soil and water
profile, the kinematics of potential slope failure, the strength and weight of soils, and the
proposed slope geometry. The stability number, which depends on soil cohesion and friction
and the slope angle from the horizon is defined as:
c
H
N
C
S

=
Where is the unit weight of soil, H
c
is the critical height, and c is the cohesion. Critical
height is the maximum depth up to which the excavation can be carried out without causing a
failure.
Example: A cut slope is to be made in a soft clay with its sides rising an angle of 75 to the
horizontal. The resulting stability number is 4.55. Given soil cohesion, c =650 psf and soil
unit weight, =110 pcf, determine the maximum depth up to which the excavation can be
carried out.
ft 9 . 26
110
55 . 4 650
=

= = =

s
c
C
S
cN
H
c
H
N
If the cut described above is made to only 10 feet, what is the factor of safety of the slope
against sliding?
7 . 2
ft 10
ft 9 . 26
FS = = =
H
H
C

Table 1 shows the theoretically safe depths for vertical cuts in different soil consistencies,
which indicates that the slope failures are probable in shallow excavations only for very soft
to medium homogeneous clays. By flattening the slope angle from 90 to 45, significant
improvement in the factor of safety for a slope of a given height can be achieved.
Table - 1: Theoretical Safe Heights for Homogeneous Clay Cut Slope with
Vertical Sides

Soil
Consistency
Unconfined
Compressive
Strength,
q
u
(psf)

Cohesion, c
(psf)

Safe Height, H
(ft)
Very soft <500 <250 <5
Soft 500 1000 250 500 5 10
Medium 1000 2000 500 1000 10 20
Stiff 2000 4000 1000 2000 20 40
Very stiff 4000 8000 2000 4000 40 80
Hard >8000 >4000 >80
Temporary slope protection should be provided to prevent sloughing of soil materials into the
excavation, such as coating or other impervious material applied to the slope. Direct rainfall
on such slopes causes rapid erosion. To prevent slope erosion in rainstorms, spray-on product
are used on silty soil materials to bind the soil particles on the surface. Plastic covering can
be used to prevent changes in moisture content on the surface of the slope to maintain
stability, as shown in Figure 1b. Chain link fence can be draped over a slope surface, when
the slope contains significant amount of loose large rocks.
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CM 420 TEMPORARY STRUCTURES LESSON 5: EXCAVATIONS AND EXCAVATION SUPPORTS
Page 4 of 14

Figure 1b - Use of plastic sheets for slope protection in a shallow excavation

Shallow Trenches
The primary function of any trench support method is to protect people from caving ground.
The secondary function is to provide support to nearby structures and allow equipment access
to the work. For deep trenches the most feasible and cost effective support method should be
devised by weighing different alternatives for trench method of excavation, pipe laying,
backfill, schedule and obstructions. In any given project several trench support methods may
be used to accommodate different conditions. There is no one-size-fits-all solution to the
process of selecting and designing a trenching support method. The first steps are to read the
plans, specifications and geotechnical reports to understand the constraints and conditions that
will be encountered.
Where the soil will not remain open without caving, a form of trench support can be utilized.
Temporary support methods such as trench boxes or hydraulic shoring have been utilized.
Trench boxes are generally used in open areas, it is a structure that supports the sides of an
excavation and is designed to prevent cave-ins (Figure 2). Trench boxes are different from
shoring because, instead of shoring up or otherwise supporting the trench face, they are
intended primarily to protect workers from cave-ins and similar incidents. The excavated area
between the outside of the trench box and the face of the trench should be as small as
possible. The space between the trench boxes and the excavation side are backfilled to
prevent lateral movement of the box.

Figure 2 A typical trench box
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CM 420 TEMPORARY STRUCTURES LESSON 5: EXCAVATIONS AND EXCAVATION SUPPORTS
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The permeability of the geologic material must be low enough to avoid the necessity of
dewatering for these methods to be successful. For most shallow trenches bracing system
should be used. For the utility trench excavations, cross-trench bracing is used, but it
somewhat restricts the work area. Figure 3 shows three types of bracing systems for shallow
cuts.

Figure 3 - Bracing for shallow trenches. From top to bottom: a) intermittent sheeting and
bracing, b) continuous sheeting and bracing, and c) trench shielding
Prefabricated trench boxes are used to maintain trench integrity during excavation and
backfilling operations. These can be quickly setup and placed in a section of trench. The
trench box is slid along the trench with excavation occurring just ahead of the trench box and
backfilling occurring in the back half of the trench box. Hydraulic shores can also be used to
provide additional stability to the trench until it is backfilled. The temporary shores are
placed in the excavation immediately after the trench is excavated to provide a temporarily
supported trench between the excavation and backfilling operations.
Deep Cuts
Excavation depths exceeding 10 to 20 feet, require specialized planning for support. Lateral
earth pressure is proportional to the vertical pressure. As a cut is made, the soil at the face
tend to expand and move into the cut area. If a support is placed against the excavation
surface to prevent the soil movement, then the pre-excavation stress is maintained.
a
b
c
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Excavation Support Methods
Excavation support systems are used to minimize the excavation area, to keep the sides of
deep excavations stable, and to ensure that movements will not cause damage to neighboring
structures or to utilities in the surrounding ground. In this lesson we will discuss soldier beam
and lagging and soil nailing systems.
Soldier beam and lagging
Soldier piles or soldier beams are H-piling set in predrilled holes around the periphery of an
excavation. Predrilling as opposed to driving is used to provide close control of alignment
and location. These piles are then grouted in place with weak concrete. Lagging is the timber
placed horizontally between the soldier piles to retain the soil behind the excavated area.
Pairs of soldier beams are driven to a depth slightly below the final excavation. Their spacing
is in the order of 6 to 10 feet so that available timber can be used for lagging. The lagging
timber, which is slightly shorter than the spacing but on the order of 2 to 4 inches thick, are
installed behind the front flange to retain the soil as excavation proceeds. Some hand
excavation is usually required to get the lagging into the place. Figure 4 illustrates the
method graphically.

Flange
Web
H-Pile

Figure 4 - Graphical illustration of soldier beams and lagging
Soldier piles are installed with conventional pile-driving equipment or in augured holes. The
horizontal sheeting or lagging is installed behind the flange closest to the excavation (inside
flange). The sheeting can be installed on the inside face of the front flange and held in place
by various methods such as clips, welded studs, or bars, etc. Figure 5 shows two photos of
excavation supports using soldier beam and lagging. The soldier pile and lagging method is
inappropriate for perfectly cohesionless soil. For cohesionless soils sheeting must be used.

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Figure 5 - Two examples of soldier beams and lagging method used for retaining walls
Figure 6 is a photo of excavation support system for the Getty Center art museum garage in
Los Angeles, California. The excavation is about 75 feet deep. The sides of the excavation
are supported by soldier piles and lagging. The soldier piles were driven before excavation
began, and the wood lagging were installed as the excavation proceeded down. On the sides
of the excavation the soldier pile and lagging wall is supported by post-tensioned anchors
drilled and grouted into the soil around the excavation. The corners were supported by corner
braces.

Figure 6 - The excavation is of a 75-feet deep garage
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Soil Nailing
Soil Nailing is an in situ reinforcing of the soil while it is excavated from the top down. An
array of soil nails which are passive inclusions are installed in a grid that functions to create a
stable mass of soil. This mass of reinforced soil functions to retain the less stable material
behind it. In the right soil conditions, soil nailing is a rapid and economical means of
constructing excavation support systems and retaining walls.
In many applications soil nailing can be the least disruptive way to construct a retaining wall.
Soil nailing requires an unusual amount of hand work, craftsmanship and geotechnical
knowledge to construct.
The typical construction sequence begins with the excavation of a shallow cut. Then
shotcrete is applied to the face of the cut and soil nails are drilled and grouted. This sequence
is then repeated until subgrade is reached.
Soil Nailing Examples

Figure 7 - North West Animal Facility, University of California at Berkeley
Construction of an underground laboratory at the UC Berkeley, required temporary shoring on
all four sides of the excavation. The tolerances for the shoring was specified to be no more
than plus or minus one inch. The excavation depth varied from 15 to 37 feet, and was
constructed in colluvial soils, consisting of stiff sandy clays and dense clayey sands with
gravel and some cobbles. Approximately 14,000 square feet of area was soil nailed (Figure
7).

Figure 8 - Chemistry Building, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington
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CM 420 TEMPORARY STRUCTURES LESSON 5: EXCAVATIONS AND EXCAVATION SUPPORTS
Page 9 of 14
The 40-ft deep excavation at this site was made in stiff to hard, slightly clayey silt, with
standard penetration resistances ranging from 15 to 45. The silt had a cohesion of 200 psf and
a friction angle of 28 degrees. At one corner of the site, a two story brick auditorium was
located ten feet behind the soil nailed wall. The movement was less than 0.3 inches at the face
of the wall, less than 0.2 inches at 18 feet behind the wall, and less than 0.1 inches at 36 feet
behind the wall. Eight rows of soil nails were designed to support the excavation (Figure 8).

Figure 9 - The Beckman Center, University of California San Diego
Construction of the New Chemical Science Building at the Scripps Research Institute required
an excavation of up to 57 feet deep. The job consisted of 75% soil nailing and shotcrete and
25% of soldier beam and tieback shoring - a total of 24,080 sq ft. The soldier beams and
tiebacks were utilized where soil nails would have interfered with existing buildings and new
or existing utilities. The deepest section was shored with 10 lifts of permanent soil nails. A
permanent shotcrete facing was installed in front of the shoring system which was completed
in ten weeks (Figure 9).

Excavation Bracing
For narrow excavations, internal struts are most appropriate. Before struts are installed, a
horizontal member called waler is placed against the soil support. Intermediate struts are then
installed from waler to waler across the excavation. Figure 10 shows an schematic sketch of
the system.

Figure 10 - Schematic diagram of narrow excavation bracing
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Figure 11 shows the sheet pile wall around a building excavation is supported by pipe struts.
Those in the foreground, which extend from one side of the excavation to the other, are
termed cross-lot braces. In the corner of the excavation the sheet piles are supported by
corner braces. Corner braces reduce the constriction in part of the working area.

Figure 11 - Internal struts

For very wide excavations, raker bracing is used. The support for the rakers (driven piles or
footings- Figure 12) are installed at the bottom of the excavation.
Figure 12 - Support for Rakers
Construction of the soil support and removal of the remainder of the excavation then begins.
Compared to cross-lot bracing, in raker bracing system the central portion of the work area is
relatively uncluttered.
In Figure 13, the wall is supported by rakers, or inclined struts. The bottom ends of the
rakers are braced against the central part of the building foundation slab. The excavation was
carried to full depth at the center first so that the foundation slab could be placed. Prior to
installation of the rakers, the lower part of the slurry trench concrete wall was supported by an
earth berm. The earth berm remains at the far side of the excavation.
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Figure 13 - Raker bracing for wide excavations

Tieback Systems
Anchors or tiebacks eliminate obstructions in the excavation inherent in rakers or struts.
Tieback systems are generally very successful in preventing movements of the excavation
walls. Usually, the excavation wall is left in place after the permanent construction inside the
braced excavation is complete. Its is often used as the back form for the permanent basement
of the structure (Figure 14). Tiebacks, if left in place, are always cut to relieve tension when
the permanent structure can safely carry the load.

Figure 14 - Tied-back concrete wall constructed underground for excavation support
Tiebacks (or anchors) are structural system which acts in tension and receives its support in
earth or rock. The system consists of: the earth or rock, which provides the ultimate support
for the system, a tension member (or tendon) which transfers the load from the soil-retention
system to the earth or rock. A stressing unit which engages the tendon, permits the tendon to
be stressed, and allows the load to be maintained in the tendon.
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Figure 15 - Tieback being installed
Earth anchors are usually installed at an angle of 10 to 20 down from horizontal. If the
acceptable soil is not encountered at these levels, it is necessary to change the angle to engage
the proper soil stratum (Figure 16).

Figure 16 - Tieback installed at 10 to 20 down from horizontal
Excavation support systems most frequently use tiebacks or soil nails to resist the lateral earth
pressures. In many soil conditions tiedback sheeting systems (tiebacks, soldier piles and
wood lagging) are the most economical systems for temporary support of excavations. A
typical construction sequence begins with the installation of soldier piles; then the site is
excavated to a depth of five to seven feet. Wood lagging is installed to maintain the soil
between the soldier beams and the tiebacks are installed to support the lateral earth pressures.
This sequence is repeated until subgrade is reached. This top-down sequence provides
continuous support of the cut and minimizes the disturbance behind the wall.

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Tieback Examples

Figure 17 - Two Renaissance Square, Phoenix, Arizona
This is a 63-foot deep tiedback excavation. The subsurface material through which this major
excavation was installed consisted of 25 feet of medium dense to dense sands and gravel,
underlain by very dense sand, gravel and cobbles (SGC). The SGC contained a large
percentage of cobbles up to 18 inches in diameter. The job consisted of 62,000 square feet of
shoring and 500 tiebacks.
Figure 18 has been developed from the data gathered from a number of excavation projects.
It is a tool to predict the ground movement in the surrounding areas as the result of an
excavation for wide varying subsurface conditions. Using this figure one can determine the
induced settlement adjacent to an excavation. It is an empirical and not a theoretical
expression of actual expectations.

Figure 18 Movement limits associated with braced excavation supports
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CM 420 TEMPORARY STRUCTURES LESSON 5: EXCAVATIONS AND EXCAVATION SUPPORTS
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Example:
You want to estimate the settlement 15 ft from the bracing wall of a 30-ft-deep excavation in
soft clay.
5 . 0
30
15
depth Excavation
excavation from Distance
= =
From Figure 18:

% 6 . 0
depth Excavation
Settlement
=

Therefore, expected settlement =0.00630 =0.18 ft

GLOSSARY OF TERMS
Waler: Horizontal timber used to hold close sheeting in position.
Lagging: Lengths of sawn hardwood timber planks used to support the sides, walls or roof as
necessary of shafts and drives and to prevent material from those faces falling into the
excavation. The term is also sometimes used when referring to the layer of poling boards
doing the same duty in trenches. The lagging is supported in turn by walkings, legs, caps, sets
Lathes: Short lengths of hardwood timber usually split and about 1.25 to 1.5 metres long used
to support the side walls (and roof in drives) and supported in turn by walings, legs or caps as
applicable.
Strut: Hardwood timber (usually horizontal) in compression resisting thrust or pressure from
the face or faces of an excavation.
Soldier: Vertical upright hardwood timber used for supporting a trench wall, taking the thrust
from horizontal walers and supported by struts.

Summary
This lesson has discussed matters of considerable importance related to the stability of slopes
for excavations and methods of preventing movements of excavation walls. The discussion
given provides a look and some of the basics involved in these operations.
98/121

UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON

DEPARTMENT OF CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT

CM 420
TEMPORARY STRUCTURES

Winter Quarter 2007

Professor Kamran M. Nemati

Temporary Structures

Sl ur r y Tr enc h / Di aphr agm
Wal l s

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CM 420

TEMPORARY STRUCTURES

Lesson 6: Slurry Trench / Diaphragm Walls
Overview
The sixth lesson provides an overview on the Slurry Trench / Diaphragm Walls method.
The slurry trench method is used for creating impermeable groundwater barriers or cutoff
walls they are also used to contain contaminated ground water. Diaphragm walls are
used in cases of troublesome dewatering and excavation support problems, which
involves constructing an impervious barrier beneath the ground surface utilizing tremie
concrete method.
Lesson Objectives
By the end of this lesson you will be able to:
describe slurry trench method and its application;
describe diaphragm wall design considerations and applications;
Class notes.
Optional Reading - Ratay, Chapter 9 Diaphragm/Slurry Walls
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CM 420 TEMPORARY STRUCTURES LESSON 6: SLURRY TRENCH / DIAPHRAGM WALLS
Page 2 of 5
Introduction
In recent years, the slurry trench method has been successfully developed to deal with
particularly troublesome dewatering and excavation support problems. These methods
involve constructing an impervious barrier beneath the ground surface.
Slurry Trench Method
The slurry trench method is used for creating impermeable groundwater barriers and has
been used for decades to create economical and positive cutoff walls in the core or
foundation soils beneath dams and dikes of many types and sizes. Slurry walls are also
used to contain contaminated ground water, divert contaminated ground water from the
drinking water intake, divert uncontaminated ground water flow, and/or provide a barrier
for the ground water treatment system.
The bentonite or drilling mud clays are generally formed from volcanic mineral
(montmorillonite) clays, the highest grade being found in Wyoming. The bentonite is
supplied to the site in a powdered form. When added to water in its dry powder form the
bentonite is blended to form a viscous (thick and sticky) fluid. When the clay particles
are thoroughly mixed and hydrated or soaked, this causes the particles to bond to each
other evenly and swell to form a gel. If the bentonite is left to stand for a period of time it
forms a gel or bonding of the swollen clay particles. This increases the stabilizing quality
of the fluid in the excavation. One could imagine a freshly mixed jelly poured into a
mould which then gains strength over a period of time. However, bentonite once in
motion again reverts back to its fluid state a process that can be repeated indefinitely.
Bentonite is sensitive to many chemicals and has different qualities when blended with
each. J ust raising or lowering the pH (acidity/alkalinity) can cause the thickening of the
fluid till it becomes almost a solid, or on the other hand it can be made to separate into a
sludge on the bottom of the tank with clear water on top. By manipulating viscosity the
designer of the mix can suspend particles e.g. sand in the mud. Further into construction
concrete is used to displace the bentonite.
These subsurface barriers consist of a vertically excavated trench that is filled with slurry.
The slurry hydraulically shores the trench to prevent collapse and forms a filter cake to
reduce ground water flow. The slurry trench technique uses an engineered fluid for
support of trench walls. Usually the fluid is bentonite slurry that coats the trench walls
and permanently blocks the free flow of water.
Most slurry walls are constructed with a mixture of soil and bentonite that provides an
impermeable, but non-structural barrier. The bentonite slurry is used primarily for wall
stabilization during trench excavation. A soil-bentonite backfill material is then placed
into the trench (displacing the slurry) to create the cutoff wall. Walls of this composition
provide a barrier with low permeability and chemical resistance at low cost. In some
cases, a material with moderate structural strength is desirable. A mixture of soil, cement
and bentonite (SCB) has recently seen increasing acceptance. SCB is stronger and more
impermeable than cement-bentonite grout, but flexible enough to allow for deformation,
and usually less costly. Other wall compositions, such as cement/bentonite,
pozzolan/bentonite, organically modified bentonite, or slurry/geomembrane composite,
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CM 420 TEMPORARY STRUCTURES LESSON 6: SLURRY TRENCH / DIAPHRAGM WALLS
Page 3 of 5
may be used if greater structural strength is required or if chemical incompatibilities
between bentonite and site contaminants exist.
Slurry walls are typically placed at depths up to 100 feet (30 meters) and are generally 2
to 4 feet (0.6 to 1.2 meters) in thickness. The most effective application of the slurry wall
for site remediation or pollution control is to base (or key) the slurry wall 2 to 3 feet (0.6
to 0.9 meters) into a low permeability layer such as clay or bedrock. This "keying-in"
provides for an effective foundation with minimum leakage potential. Figure 1 depicts
construction sequence of a slurry trench.

Figure 1 - Construction sequence of a slurry trench

Diaphragm Walls
Diaphragm walls, which are common in the construction industry, are used in cases of
troublesome dewatering and excavation support problems. It involves constructing an
impervious barrier beneath the ground surface. They are constructed from the surface
level by excavating a long deep trench. After the excavation is completed, a
reinforcement cage is inserted in the trench and concrete placement follows using tremie
concrete method (explained in the next section), from bottom to the top. Similar to the
slurry trench method, to prevent the sides of the excavation from collapsing before the
concrete is placed, it is filled with a thick bentonite slurry, which bonds to the walls and
holds the soil material together.
To construct the diaphragm walls, deep trenches are excavated in long sections using a
special equipment commercially known as Hang Grab, which is shown in figure 2. At
the same time the bentonite mix is pumped in to stabilize the walls of the trench. Hang
Grab is designed for excavating soil continuously until it reaches in a certain depth
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Page 4 of 5
providing bentonite in order not to let the wall break down and not to inflow underground
water.

Figure 2 - The equipment used for excavation of diaphragm wall
The procedure of underground diaphragm wall method is that the soils are excavated
continuously. This is followed by the lowering of steel reinforcement cages, which are
prefabricated on site. Concrete is then placed into the slurry filled trench. A pump is set
up at the surface of the excavation and as the bentonite is being displaced with tremie
concrete, it is pumped back to the bentonite plant, cleaned and stored for construction of
the next panel. A PVC (polyvinyl chloride) waterstop joint is placed between each panel.
Structures such as below grade facilities should have a waterstop system in place. These
waterstops are made of PVC and are formed into Concrete joints during the actual
concrete placement. The PVC waterstop then bridges the joint between the concrete
sections to prevent water from coming through the joint. Waterstops are typically used in
large foundation work, bridges, and Dams.
Each panel is deliberately overfilled with concrete so that the top section, which gets
contaminated with bentonite and sand, can be removed back to the finished height of the
walls. When the concrete is cured, the construction site is enclosed within a rigid,
impervious barrier. This method has been employed to depths exceeding 200 feet.
Figure 3 shows the construction of an underground concrete diaphragm wall.
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Figure 3 - Diaphragm wall reinforcement and concreteing
Placement of the concrete seal is by tremie concrete
For placement of tremie concrete method, refer to Lesson 3.

Lesson Summary
The diaphragm wall technique is a tried and true construction method, which provides
very good support of existing foundations, during adjacent construction operations. The
method has many civil applications. Diaphragm walls are commonly used in congested
areas for retention systems and permanent foundation walls. They can be installed in
close proximity to existing structures, with minimal loss of support to existing
foundations. In addition, construction dewatering is not required, so there is no
associated subsidence.
104/121

UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON

DEPARTMENT OF CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT

CM 420
TEMPORARY STRUCTURES

Winter Quarter 2007

Professor Kamran M. Nemati

Temporary Structures

Const r uc t i on Dew at er i ng
and Gr ound Fr eezi ng

105/121

CM 420

TEMPORARY STRUCTURES

Lesson 7: Construction Dewatering and Ground Freezing
Overview
Dewatering means the separation of water from the soil, or perhaps taking the water out of
a particular construction problem completely. Many excavations are carried below
groundwater level. Techniques for dealing with the problems that result depend on the
excavation dimensions, the soil type, and the groundwater control requirements, among other
factors. The simplest dewatering operations are carried out with little planning. Major
operations in difficult conditions require advanced engineering and construction methods.
Lesson Objectives
By the end of this lesson you will be able to:
explain the principal dewatering methods available and their applicability to various soil
conditions;
know which type of dewatering methods are appropriate for various soil conditions;
recognize some common problems associated with various dewatering methods;
explain the fundamental requirements for a dewatering system that is reliably designed;
explain ground freezing.
Class notes.
Optional reading: Ratay, Chapter 10 "Construction Dewatering".
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Construction Dewatering
Introduction
The control of groundwater is one of the most common and complicated problems
encountered on a construction site. Construction dewatering can become a costly issue if
overlooked during project planning. In most contracts, dewatering is the responsibility of the
contractor. The contractor selects the dewatering method and is responsible for its design and
operation.
The purpose of construction dewatering is to control the surface and subsurface hydrologic
environment in such a way as to permit the structure to be constructed in the dry.
Dewatering means the separation of water from the soil, or perhaps taking the water out of
the particular construction problem completely. This leads to concepts like pre-drainage of
soil, control of ground water, and even the improvement of physical properties of soil. If
ground water issues are addressed appropriately at the investigation and design stage,
construction dewatering, which involves temporarily lowering the ground water table to
permit excavation and construction within a relatively dry environment, is rarely a problem.
Construction dewatering has existed as a specialty industry for a long time. Consequently, a
number of well-established techniques have been developed to lower the ground water table
during excavation. The geology, ground water conditions, and type of excavation all
influence the selection of dewatering technology. The most common methods for dewatering
include sumps, wells and wellpoints.
Sumps provide localized, very shallow dewatering (less than 3 feet) and consist of
pumping from perforated drums or casings in a gravel-filled backhoe pit. Sumps work
best in tight, fine grained soils, or very coarse, bouldery deposits.
Wells are large-diameter (greater than 6 inches) holes, drilled relatively deep (greater than
10 feet), and contain slotted casings and downhole pumps. Wells work best in soils
consisting of sand, or sand and gravel mixtures, and can dewater large areas to great
depths.
Wellpoints are small-diameter (less than 6 inches), shallow wells, and are closely spaced
(2 to 10 feet apart). Wellpoints effectively dewater coarse sands and gravels, or silts and
clays. They have a wide range of applications. However, wellpoints use a vacuum
system and their depth is limited to about 25 feet. Wellpoint systems generally cost more
than either sumps or wells, and require near-continual maintenance.
A number of other dewatering techniques are available including ground freezing and electro-
osmosis. However, such techniques are very costly and used only for particularly difficult
dewatering applications.
Underwater Excavations
In special cases where the soil is very pervious or when it is not possible or desirable to lower
the groundwater table, underwater excavations can be considered. If underwater excavation is
to be performed, the work area must be enclosed with an impervious structure. Once the
impervious structure is in place, the excavation is performed within the structure. Once the
desired excavation level is achieved within the structure, it is sealed with an impervious layer,
such as concrete, in order to prevent water from sipping into the work area. After the
impervious seal has been constructed, the water remaining within the structure is pumped out
and construction is completed.
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Caissons
Caisson is a structure that is constructed at location if the project site is on land, but if the
project site is offshore, it is constructed on land and then floated to the site offshore. In the
caisson method of construction, the excavation is performed from within the permanent
structure. After the caisson is in position, excavation from within the caisson structure
begins. As the excavation is carried out, the caisson structure starts to sink by its own weight,
or if necessary, by imposed loads. This procedure continues until the desired foundation level
is achieved. Figure 1 shows this process schematically.

Figure 1 - Schematic sequence of caisson installation
By injecting bentonite clay slurry at the soil-structure interface, adding weight, or in case of
cohesionless soils using jetting, the frictional resistance between the caisson and the
surrounding ground may be significantly reduced.
When a pile, or in this case caisson, must be driven through dense and hard materials, several
driving aids have been developed. The principal function of these driving aids is to speed the
driving operation and to prevent damage to the structure that results from heavy driving.
J etting is applicable to those situations where structure must be driven through cohesionless
soil materials to greater depths. Water jets can be used to displace granular soils from beneath
the toe of a pile or caisson. J etting is accomplished by pumping water through pipes attached
to the side or center of the structure as it is driven. The flow of water creates a quick
condition and thereby reduces skin friction along the sides of the driven structure. The result
is that the structure drives more easily. Figure 2 illustrates a centrally-placed jetting pipe
schematically.
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Page 4 of 16

Figure 2 Centrally-placed jetting pipe
(From: Pile Design and Construction Practice by M.J . Tomlinson, Viewpoint Publications, 1977, page 92)
During unwatering (pumping the water to outside of caisson) a caisson in cohesionless soils,
the upward flow from the surrounding groundwater induces a quick condition, which results
in loss of strength at the bottom of excavation. In other words, if the flow is upward then the
water pressure tends to lift the soil element. If the upward water pressure is high enough the
effective stresses in the soil disappear, no frictional strength can be mobilized and the soil
behaves as a fluid. This is the quick condition and is associated with piping instabilities
around excavations and with liquefaction events in or following earthquakes. Quick condition
is shown in Figure 3

Figure 3 - Partially unwatered caisson with no seal, showing seepage from surrounding ground
To prevent quick condition, the head difference causing flow, i.e. the difference between the
groundwater table level and the standing water level within the caisson, should be kept low.
Caissons should not be used in the vicinity of existing structures that can be damaged due to
loss of ground from beneath their foundations.
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At the desired excavation level, an impervious seal is placed, usually by using tremie concrete
(refer to Lesson 3). Once the Tremie concrete seal is in place, the dewatering of the caisson
can begin.
Permeability and Seepage - Flow of Water in Soil
Soils have interconnected voids through which water can flow from points of high energy to
points of low energy. It is necessary to estimate the quantity of underground seepage for
investigating problems involving the pumping of water for underground construction, and
making stability analysis of earth dams and earth-retaining structures that are subjected to
seepage forces. Range of permeability for various soils is shown in Table 1:
Soil
Permeability Coefficient, k
(cm/sec)
Relative
Permeability
Coarse gravel Exceeds 10
-1
High
Sand, clean 10
-1
to 10
-3
Medium
Sand, dirty 10
-3
to 10
-5
Low
Silt 10
-5
to 10
-7
Very low
Clay Less than 10
-7
Impervious

Gravels are 1 million times more pervious than clays

Permeability in the Field by Pumping from Wells
When a well is pumped, the groundwater surface in the surrounding area is lowered which
depends on the pumping rate, the size of the well, the permeability of the soil, and the
distance from the well. In the field, the average hydraulic conductivity of a soil deposit in the
direction of flow can be determined by performing pumping tests from the well. Figure 4
shows a well in an open aquifer being pumped at a pumping rate of q. (An aquifer is a
permeable geological stratum or formation that can both store and transmit water in
significant quantities).

Figure 4 Pumping in a well which is fully penetrating an open aquifer
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The basic mathematical relationships concerning flow in soils assume that aquifer extend
horizontally in all directions beyond the area of interest and its thickness is uniform
throughout and it is isotropic, i.e., permeability in the horizontal and vertical directions is the
same. The pumping rate from a well in an open aquifers is (Figure 3):
( )

=
1
2
2
1
2
2
ln

R
R
H H k
q

where q =Water flowing through the soil at a constant rate
k =the coefficient of permeability (aka: Hydraulic conductivity, a materials constant)
R
1
and R
2
=distances of observation wells from the well where pumping is performed
H
1
and H
2
=drawdowns in the observation wells caused by pumping
If there are no observation wells, then q can be estimated by the following equation:
( )

=
W
W
R
R
H H k
q
ln

2 2

where H, H
W
, R and R
W
are as shown in Figure 3.
Example
Consider the case of pumping from a well in an unconfined permeable layer underlain by an
impermeable stratum. Given:
q =26 ft
3
/min
H
1
=15.7 ft at R
1
=100 ft
H
2
=18.0 ft at R
2
=200 ft
Calculate the hydraulic conductivity (in ft/min) of the permeable layer.
( )
( ) ( )
( )
ft/min 074 . 0
7 . 15 18
100 200 ln 26
ln
2 2
1
2
2
1
2
2
=

=
R
R
H H
q
k

Dewatering Methods - Wellpoints
The wellpoint consists of a slotted or perforated pipe which is covered with a screen mesh. At
the foot of this pipe is an orifice which permits jetting of the pipe into the ground during
installation. A well-point dewatering system consists of a series of closely placed small-
diameter wells installed to shallow depths. These wells are connected to a pipe or header that
surrounds the excavation and is attached to a vacuum pump. The construction steps in the
wellpoint system are:
1. the wellpoints are jetted into the ground;
2. the annulars void is filled with filter media;
3. the wellpoints are connected to a header pipe by means of a riser;
4. the header pipe is connected to suction pumps for pumping.
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Figure 5 shows small pipes, up to 2.5 inches in diameter, connected to screens at the bottom
and to a vacuum header pipe at the surface, which constitute a wellpoint system.

Figure 5 Wellpoint system
Wellpoints typically have capacities ranging from a fraction of a gallon a minute to 100
gallons per minute and they may be used in single stages or in multiple stages to accomplish
deep dewatering.
Single stage wellpoint systems have an effective suction lift of 15 feet at sea level, and under
certain circumstances, lifts can be increased to as much as 22 feet, as shown in Figure 6.

Figure 6 Suction lift limitation of wellpoint systems
If the total required drawdown is substantially more than 22 feet, it is usually necessary to use
a multistage wellpoint system (Figure 7), or a combination of deep wells and a single stage of
wellpoints. It consists of the installation of wellpoints at two or more levels. It is important
the lowest wellpoint stage be located at an elevation within reasonable suction lift or the
desired final water level.
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Figure 7 Multi-stage wellpoint system
The normal range of wellpoint spacing is from 3 to 12 feet. The wellpoint depth is based on
adequate information on the soil conditions. Figure 8 shows the recommended wellpoint
depth under the following conditions:
(a) In uniform soil, place top of screen 3-5 ft (minimum) below subgrade
(b) with clay at or above the grade, place top of screen 6 in. above top of clay, and
(c) with deep coarse layer below grade, place screen in coarse layer.

Figure 8 Recommended wellpoint depth under various conditions.
Wellpoint Pumps, Header and Discharge Piping
Once the total flow, Q, the required vacuum, the distance to the point of discharge, and the
discharge elevation has been determined, a suitable mechanical system should be selected for
those conditions. When selecting wellpoint pumps, they must have adequate water and air
capacity at the necessary vacuum and must be capable of developing the required total
dynamic head in order to be able to deliver the water to the discharge point.
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Single pump or multiple pumps may be used, depending on availability of equipment and job
conditions. If multiple pumps are used, they should be spaced along the header, or they can
be grouped into one single pump station. In a single pump station only one discharge line is
used, but in this case large header pipes are used to bring the water to the central pump station
without excessive friction. Redundant or standby pumps must be provided, installed and be
ready to operate in case of malfunction of the regular pumps or during maintenance or repair
of those pumps.
For high volume pumping a suction manifold may be used, which reduces the water velocity
in the header line at the pump. The manifold also causes smooth flow in the critical approach
to the pump entrance, reducing cavitation, which will increase the capacity of the pump.
Header lines are sized to keep friction at acceptable levels. Valves are used to facilitate
installation, trouble shouting, repair and removal. The discharge lines should be braced and
strapped, wher pressure is moderate to high. The arrangement and location of header lines,
pumps and discharge should be selected in accordance with the plan and schedule of
construction sequence and activities so that it is convenient during exvavation, but also will
not interfere with construction and backfill operations, in order to prevent relocation and
modifications during the course of the project. Figure 9 shows a typical dewatering system
using wellpoints.

Figure 9 A typical well point system dewatering

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Ground Freezing
The principle of ground freezing is to change the water in the soil into a solid wall of ice.
This wall of ice is completely impermeable. Ground freezing is used for groundwater cutoff,
for earth support, for temporary underpinning, for stabilization of earth for tunnel excavation,
to arrest landslides and to stabilize abandoned mineshafts. The principals of ground freezing
are analogous to pumping groundwater from wells. To freeze the ground, a row of
freezepipes are placed vertically in the soil and heat energy is removed through these pipes
(Figure 10). Isotherms (an isotherm is a line connecting locations with equal temperature)
move out from the freezepipes with time similar to groundwater contours around a well.

Figure 10 Formation of a freezewall
Once the earth temperature reaches 32 F (0 C), water in the soil pores turns to ice. Then
further cooling proceeds. The groundwater in the pores readily freezes in granular soils, such
as sands. For instance, saturated sand achieves excellent strength at only a few degrees below
the freezing point. If the temperature is lowered further, the strength increases marginally. In
cohesive soils, such as clays, the ground water is molecularly bonded at least in part to the
soil particles. If soft clay is cooled down to freezing temperature, some portions of its pore
water to begin to freeze and it causes the clay to stiffen. With further reduction in
temperature, more pore water freezes and consequently more strength gain is achieved. When
designing for frozen earth structures in cohesive soils, it may be necessary to specify
substantially lower temperatures to achieve the required strength, than in cohesionless soils.
A temperature of +20 F may be sufficient in sands, whereas temperatures a low as 20 F
may be required in soft clays.
The design of a frozen earth barrier is governed by the thermal properties of the underlying
soils and related response to the freezing system. Formation of frozen earth barrier develops
at different rates depending on the thermal and hydraulic properties of each stratum.
Typically, rock and coarse-grained soils freeze faster than clays and silts (Figure 11).

Figure 11 Formation of frozen earth barrier in different soils
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When soft clay is cooled to the freezing point, some portion of its pore water begins to freeze
and clay begins to stiffen. If the temperature is further reduced, more of the pore water
freezes and the strength of the clay markedly increases. When designing frozen earth
structures in clay it may be necessary to provide for substantially lower temperatures to
achieve the required strengths. A temperature of +20 F may be adequate in sands, whereas
temperatures as low as 20 F may be required in soft clay.
Referring to the Figure 12, the frozen earth first forms in the shape of a vertical cylinders
surrounding the freezepipes.

Pipes prior to freezing

Following initiation of freeze

Closure of frozen earth wall

Complete frozen earth wall

Figure 12 Freeze pipes
If the heat extraction is continued at a high rate, the thickness of the frozen wall will expand
with time. Once the wall has achieved its design thickness, the freeze plant is operated at a
reduced rate to remove the heat flowing toward the wall, to maintain the condition.
Freezing Equipment and Methods
The most common freezing method is by circulating brine (a strong saline solution as of
calcium chloride). Chilled brine is pumped down a drop tube to the bottom of the freeze pipe
and flows up the pipe, drawing heat from the soil (Figure 13).

Figure 13 Portable twin 60-ton brine refrigeration unit
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The liquid nitrogen (LN2) process has been applied successfully to ground freezing. The cost
per unit of heat extracted is much higher than with circulated brine. Nevertheless for small,
short term projects, particularly in emergencies, the method can occasionally be competitive
(Figure 14).

Figure 14 Typical LN
2
system for ground freezing
Freezing Applications
The freezing method is remarkably versatile, and with ingenuity it can be adapted to a great
many project conditions. The penetration of a freeze does not vary greatly with permeability,
so it is much more effective as a cutoff than grout. In stratified soils, cutoff by freezing
encounters fewer problems than drainage by dewatering. Freezing can perform the dual
function of water cutoff and earth support, eliminating sheeting and bracing.
Figure 15 shows a circular excavation supported by a freezewall.

Figure 15 Circular excavation support by a freezewall
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Figure 16 shows an excavation supported by gravity retaining wall of frozen earth. A
combination of vertical and inclined freezepipes is typical, to achieve the shape illustrated.

Figure 16 An excavation supported by gravity retaining wall of frozen earth.
Note in both cases the freezewall penetrates into an impermeable clay layer below the
Planning Dewatering Operations
The analysis of a dewatering system require knowledge of the permeability of the soil to be
dewatered. The dewatering methods discussed are applicable to certain specific soil
conditions and excavations sizes. Figure 17 shows their suitability for various soil types. As
seen from Figure 17, methods involving well and wellpoint systems are used where the soil to
be pumped are predominantly sand and gravel. Freezing may be used in the same soils.
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Figure 17 Applicability of dewatering methods
(Courtesy of Moretrench American Corporation)
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Example:
A 100-ft diameter circular reservoiris to be built with a bottom slab located 25 feet below the
ground surface. The groundwater table must be held at least 2 ft below the slab until the
reservoir is filled. The soil conditions at the construction site is shown below. Select a
dewatering method you would consider appropriate.

0
10
20
30
40
50
60
70
Depth,
feet
Soil
description
Sandy gravel,
some cobbles
Loose to
mediumdense
fine silty sand
GWT
Soil profile

I. Considerations:
(a) for silty sand estimate k=10-4 to 10-5 cm/sec (from Table 1)
(b) Need to lower groundwater table approximately 9 feet.
(c) Figure 17 indicates wells or wellpoints as most suitable for dewatering method.
(d) Area to be dewatered is relatively small.
(e) If slopes unsupported, the flow of water to wellpoints from excavation slopes would
improve stability.
III. Construction and Operation
(a) Excavate to present water level.
(b) Install wellpoints around the perimeter of excavation, using riser lengths of 15 ft or
less.
(c) Begin dewatering operation.
(d) Proceed with excavation, adjusting spacing of the wellpoints as required to dewater.
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Summary
Todays improved well equipment and well construction techniques make possible the
dewatering of many projects with wells and wellspoints. Other methods of groundwater
control that have been developed and used such as ground freezing, slurry trenches, cast in
situ diaphragm walls, etc. have had some degree of success in the specific job conditions to
which they are suited. Though construction dewatering has not been reduced to an exact
science yet, the selection of the dewatering system should hinge on the experience and
professional judgement of the engineer based on the soil materials, the source of water, and
the demands of the project.
With this lesson, this course come to an end. I hope that the materials presented in the
preceeding eight lessons will be of value in your professional career. The M.K. Hurd book is
a classic concrete formwork book and I am sure you will be referring to it any time you
design formwork.
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