Patented Shortek Shoring Saves Back Alley and Adds Safety to Job-Site

Client: Harris Builders
Location: Winnipeg, MB
Project Type: Shoring
Key Hurdles: Sloughing Excvation/Tight Space

PROBLEM: VersaPile was engaged to assist a valued customer in shoring an excavation for a luxury infill home build. In residential applications the typical shoring solution is to drill holes in the ground to place 6x6 timbers with plywood in behind to hold back soil from sloughing. Unfortunately in this circumstance the weight of the soil was increased by the nearby back alley and the wood shoring gave way, failing to keep the soils from sloughing. This created a situation where the back alley was at risk of being compromised and where workers could no longer work safely in the excavation.

Driven H piles or vibrated sheet piles are typical alternatives to the affordable wood solution, however they are far from affordable. Such piles are also installed with large equipment which are difficult to work with in a residential setting and that could add weight to a back alley which was at risk. For residential project shoring is not typical and a commercial shoring solution is a major budget add-on which can be necessary to build safely but that does not add value/equity to the home.

SOLUTION: VersaPile Inc. worked with Pete at Shortek Systems Inc. to develop a shoring solution using their patented Shortek System. Shortek is a helically driven interlocking sheet panel system which can be installed using high torque anchor drives typical for high capacity helical pile installations. In this situation the pile shaft was 5-1/2" in diameter with double helix and panels were spaced 50 inches apart and each panel was capable of shoring up to a 12 foot deep excavation.

In just two days on-siter VersaPile, alongside Pete from Shortek Systems installed more than 70 lineal feet of shoring. A whaler system was welded to the top of the panels in this situation to add further strength to the shoring.

The installation process was done with no impact to the back alley, it was a low noise solution and there were no vibrations which neighbours would appreciate.

CONCLUSION: When compared to alternative commercial shoring solutions, Shortek was a significant cost saving of nearly 50%. We were hopeful that we could remove the Shortek panels however the adhesion of the clay soils prohibited us from retrieving the panels; had we been able to retrieve the panels, they could have been reused and the cost to the customer would have been decreased to ~30% of the cost of commercial shoring solutions. The customer was happy to save some money on an unexpected budget item and were able to safely complete the build and gain peace of mind that the back alley will remain protected for many years to come.



  • 5-1/2" Ø shaft, 16" double helix Shortek Shoring Panels
  • 10' depth below excavation cut
  • 25 kip-ft [33.9 kN-m] torque

Installed with:

  • CAT321 (30T Excavator)
  • Pengo RT-40


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