Temporary propping of deep excavations: Guidance on design

This book gives advice on temporary propping systems for deep excavations.

temporary props for deep excavations. Image from Crossrail Ltd.
temporary props for deep excavations. Image from Crossrail Ltd.

Who wrote this?

David Twine and Howard Roscoe on behalf of CIRIA.


It was first published in December 1999.


To increase efficiency when temporary propping of deep excavations is used.

Who should read this?

Anyone likely to conduct temporary propping, so temporary works designers, geotechnical engineers, project managers and clients.


This 224-page book gives proposes a new empirical method for establishing temporary prop loads for design, developed from the Peck approach and based on a comprehensive survey of field measurements of prop loads. Distributed prop load diagrams, derived from analyses of the measured loads, are provided, from which prop loads may be obtained. The application of this distributed prop load method is explained, illustrated by worked examples.

The guidance covers

  • Single and multi-propped excavations of varied geometry
  • Flexible and stiff walls
  • The range of ground conditions found in the UK
  • Temperature effects
  • Buildability
  • Use of the observational method
  • Instrumentation of props
  • Choice of temporary propping systems
  • Contractual arrangements
  • Performance requirements
  • Allocation of responsibility
  • The overall legal context

Current methods of determining prop load and design are reviewed. The book concludes with a summary of recommendations.

For more information and questions, please contact management@ice.org.uk.

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