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SHIRLEY CONSULTING ENGINEERS PTY LTD

INVESTIGATIVE, REMEDIAL & GROUND ENGINEERING

ANCHOR DESIGN & CONSTRUCTION


FOR SHORING SYSTEMS
FUNDAMENTALS and AS4678
Civil & Structural Engineering Panel
19 March 2013
Andrew Shirley & Simon Fagg

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INTRODUCTION - 1

1. Soil & Ground Anchors for Shoring Systems.


2. Failures due to limited understanding &
reliance on ‘expert contractors’.
3. Some engineers are simplistic in their anchor
specifications, and just ‘call up the load
required’.
4. Become litigation ‘targets’ when the anchor /
shoring system fails.

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INTRODUCTION
This Presentation will cover:
1. The Fundamentals of Anchor Design for Shoring
Systems.
2. The differences between soil anchors & anchors and
usual reasons why anchors & shoring systems fail.
3. The requirements of AS 4678 and its implications for
design engineers.
4. Five case studies of failures because the Design
Fundamentals have not been followed.
5. Lessons for Design Purposes.
6. The Risks & Liability Issues for Engineers
7. A pdf version of the PowerPoint Slides will be available
on our website www.shirley.net.au

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EXAMPLE OF TYPICAL ANCHOR SPEC.

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EXAMPLE OF TYPICAL ANCHOR SPEC.
A correct understanding of the way in which the anchors
interact with the structural shoring system [viz: soil /
structure interaction] is essential.

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ANCHORS FOR SHORING SYSTEMS

1. Anchors are NOT the same.


2. Many types of anchor; each type of anchor
interacts differently with the structural part of
the shoring.
3. Only limited information on the design of
shoring wall anchors is generally available [e.g.
CIRIA C580].

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ANCHORS FOR SHORING SYSTEMS
Anchors fall into three Categories

Rock Anchors Soil Anchors Dead Man Anchors


• Stiff Anchorage • Deformable Anchorage • Shallow Anchorage
• No load transferred from • Anchorage Zone • Surficial Failure of Dead
the Rock to the Soil Interacts with the Man, typically not within
Restrained Zone the Restrained Zone
• No interaction between
Anchorage Zone and • Where problems are • Minimal interaction
Restrained Zone most frequent, and topic between
of this talk Anchorage Zone and
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Restrained Zone
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ANCHORS WITH AN ANCHORAGE IN ROCK

Anchorages in rock are very common & rarely fail


unless they are too short. Why?
1. Rock anchors are ‘stiff’ elements.
2. Rock Anchors form Structural Frame
with the rock and structural parts.
3. Rock Anchors have a Large Overload
Capacity.

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SOIL ANCHORS vs ROCK ANCHORS

• Anchors into
rock form a
‘Frame’
• Soil Anchors do
NOT create a
‘Frame’. Only a
Restrained
Cantilever
• Soil Anchor
MUST be able to
‘self tension’

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ANCHORS WITH AN ANCHORAGE IN SOIL

Why do Soil Anchors Fail?


1. No Structural Frame.
2. Minimal / No Overload Capacity.
3. Incorrect Lock-Off Load.
4. Unable to ‘self tension’ if installed
at too steep an angle.

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SHORING WALL TERMINOLOGY
ACTIVE SIDE PASSIVE SIDE
(Adjoining Property / Ground) (Excavation)

Shoring Wall
Anchor

Restrained Zone

Anchorage Zone

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ANCHOR COMPONENT TERMINOLOGY

Shoring Wall

Anchorage Zone Drilled Hole

Tendon

Anchor Head

See AS4678, Clause B2 : Anchor Components

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ANCHOR LOAD SPECIFICATION
THE TERM SWL SHOULD NOT BE USED

Australian Standard [AS4678: Clause B4.4] requires


the following loads to be specified by a designer:
Symbol Name Description

PW Working Load The Maximum or Ultimate calculated load in the anchor during the
construction processes.
PP Proof Load The load to which the ground anchor is to be loaded to check the
adequacy.
PLO ‘Lock Off’ Load The load which will be left in the ground anchor when stressed.
[i.e. The residual anchor load after the proof loading is complete].

PLT Long-term The long-term residual load in the anchorage following its
design load construction, prestressing, creep and subsequent ground
movements.
Note: Whilst AS4678 (2002) describes the Working load as the “load necessary to ensure that the structure behaves in
a satisfactory manner”, in the context of a shoring system and as the load changes during construction, the
above definition is considered to be more precise.

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ANCHORS WITH AN ANCHORAGE IN SOIL
FAILURES & CAUSES OF PROBLEM

1. The Anchorage Zone can interact with the


Restrained Zone.
2. As Soil Anchors can ‘creep’ and loose tension
under load, soil anchors need to be able to
‘self-tension’.
3. Limited Capacity for Overload

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SOIL ANCHOR SELF TENSIONING
Shallow anchor
Self Tensions
As the shoring wall
moves:
• Really Steep Anchors
lose tension.
• Anchors which cross the
failure plane at right
angles only act in shear.
• Shallow Anchors can
‘self tension’, as
movement of the potential
Really steep anchor failure wedge creates
Loses Tension anchor tension.
Steep anchor
Only acts in shear

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LOAD TRANSFER DURING EXCAVATION

Where does the removed passive resistance go?

• Deformation of the
Retained Soil
• Deflection of the Wall.
• Increased Anchor Load
• Increased Passive
Pressure at the Toe of
the Wall

Soil Passive
Material Pressure

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ANCHOR LOCK-OFF LOADS & DEFLECTIONS

1. An anchor tensioned to the Rankine active


load doesn’t work, particularly when the
tension can ‘relax’ due to Anchorage creep.
2. Rankine analysis not suitable – must use finite
element methods [e.g. Wallap].
3. The selection of the right ‘lock-off’ load is a
trade off of deflection and anchor load – the
Optimal Range’.

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ANCHOR LOCK-OFF LOADS & DEFLECTIONS – (2)
NOTE: THIS DIAGRAM IS NOT A DESIGN CHART.
IT IS AN EXMAPLE BASED ON A SPECIFIC SITES GEOTECHNICAL
CONDITIONS, WALL AND ANCHOR PROPERTIES.
35
Maximum Wall Deflection [mm]

30

25

20

Optimal Range
15

10

6m Excavation
5
5m Excavation
0
0 50 100 150 200 250 300 350 400

Anchor Lock-off Load [kN]


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ANCHOR LOCK-OFF LOADS VS
EXCAVATION DEPTH
NOTE: THIS DIAGRAM IS NOT A DESIGN CHART. IT IS AN EXMAPLE BASED ON A
SPECIFIC SITES GEOTECHNICAL CONDITIONS, WALL AND ANCHOR PROPERTIES.
350

300

PP = 256 kN
Anchor Load [kN]

250

PW = 206 kN 1.25x
200
Deflection
Lock-off
Optimal

PLO =
150
150 kN

100

50
For a 6m
Excavation

0
1 2 3 4 5 6

Excavation Depth [m]


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ANCHORS WITH AN ANCHORAGE IN SOIL
FAILURES & CAUSES OF PROBLEMS

1. Failure does not mean ‘Collapse’.


2. Principal causes of failure:
• Wrong Specification by the designer [e.g. the
angle of installation is too steep and can’t self tension, etc.].
• Anchors too short.
• Incorrect load testing procedures & wrong
lock-off load.
3. Construction Problems.

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MONITORING OF SHORING & ANCHOR
PERFORMANCE

MONITORING:

Checks Anchor Performance wrt design.

Must perform monitoring because Factor of


Safety normally 1.2 to 1.25.

Good anchor load test records.

Monitoring Points must be continued down


the shoring wall, and accurate to 2 mm.

Includes visual ‘walk around’ the site every


day

Enables action to avert failure

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INCIDENCE & EXAMPLES OF ANCHOR
INDUCED SHORING FAILURES

Incidence of Anchor Failures


Common in Sands & Soils
Occasional in Clay
Rarely in Rock

Examples – by Simon Fagg


Global Failures
Anchorage & Pull-out Failures

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CASE STUDY 1
EASTERN SUBURBS, SYDNEY

This project involved:


• a 5m deep excavation in sandy alluvial foundation material.
• the installation of steel sheet piles and two rows of screw
anchors.
• the excavation was to support a historical 3 storey building
and associated historical hall.
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CASE STUDY 1
EASTERN SUBURBS, SYDNEY

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CASE STUDY 1
EASTERN SUBURBS, SYDNEY

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CASE STUDY 1
EASTERN SUBURBS, SYDNEY

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CASE STUDY 1
EASTERN SUBURBS, SYDNEY

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CASE STUDY 1
EASTERN SUBURBS, SYDNEY

CONSEQUENCE OF THE FAILURE


Construction
• A requirement to backfill against part of the collapsing shoring
system, resulting in delays in Construction.
• The need to demolish, and then reconstruct, a heritage listed
building;
• Several other neighbouring buildings ‘walking’ across the site
boundaries.

Long Term
• The Builder [over 100 years in operation] incurred significant losses
on the project, and was placed in Liquidation 3 years later.
• The Piling Contractor was placed in liquidation 4 years later.
• The Engineer who designed the system has now retired.

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CASE STUDY 2
NORTHERN BEACHES, SYDNEY

This project involved:


• a 12m deep excavation in sandy alluvial foundation material.
• a high ground water level.
• a sheet pile shoring system with four rows of ‘bar’ type anchors.
• several neighbouring single & double storey commercial
premises.
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CASE STUDY 2
NORTHERN BEACHES, SYDNEY

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CASE STUDY 2
NORTHERN BEACHES, SYDNEY

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GLOBAL FAILURES
NORTHERN BEACHES, SYDNEY

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CASE STUDY 2
NORTHERN BEACHES, SYDNEY

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GLOBAL FAILURES
NORTHERN BEACHES, SYDNEY

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CASE STUDY 2
NORTHERN BEACHES, SYDNEY

Action Limit
Warning Limit
Design Deflection

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CASE STUDY 2
NORTHERN BEACHES, SYDNEY
CONSEQUENCE OF THE FAILURE
Construction
• Partial Backfilling was required to stabilise the wall;
• Damage was caused to six neighbouring buildings;
• One building being unrepairable and not able to be replaced
without a four level basement; three years after the completion of
construction this building is still unable to be occupied.
Long Term
• Significant rental losses to the neighbouring building owners.
• Two local businesses failed due to the disruption and cracking.
• The Builder was placed in liquidation 3 years after the works.
• The Piling Contractor was placed in liquidation 3 years after the
works.
The engineer has now retired

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CASE STUDY 3
SOUTHERN SYDNEY

This project involved:


• a 6m deep excavation in sandy foundation material.
• a contiguous concrete pile shoring system with two rows of
anchors.
• a high ground water level above the base of the excavation.
• an arterial road with extensive services, including a water main.
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CASE STUDY 3
SOUTHERN SYDNEY

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CASE STUDY 3
SOUTHERN SYDNEY

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CASE STUDY 3
SOUTHERN SYDNEY

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CASE STUDY 3
SOUTHERN SYDNEY

Monitoring Marks

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CASE STUDY 3
SOUTHERN SYDNEY

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CASE STUDY 3
SOUTHERN SYDNEY

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CASE STUDY 3
SOUTHERN SYDNEY

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CASE STUDY 3
SOUTHERN SYDNEY

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CASE STUDY 3
SOUTHERN SYDNEY

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CASE STUDY 3
SOUTHERN SYDNEY
CONSEQUENCE OF THE FAILURE
Construction
• Bursting of a high pressure water main.
• The construction site was flooded for several weeks.
• Backfilling was required against the shoring system to ensure
collapse did not occur; This caused significant delays in this area.
• A probably excessive replacement shoring system was installed
before construction was allowed to continue in this area.
Long Term
• Main traffic artery closed for several months, with a significant cost
to the community.
• Legal proceedings lasting for 4 years.

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CASE STUDY 4
NORTH WESTERN SYDNEY

This project involved:


• a 7m deep excavation in Silty Clay and weathered shale
materials.
• a concrete pile shoring system with concrete infill panels
• one row of anchors, ‘kept inside the boundary’.
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CASE STUDY 4
NORTH WESTERN SYDNEY

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CASE STUDY 4
NORTH WESTERN SYDNEY

‘Greasy backs’

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CASE STUDY 4
NORTH WESTERN SYDNEY

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CASE STUDY 4
NORTH WESTERN SYDNEY

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CASE STUDY 4
NORTH WESTERN SYDNEY

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CASE STUDY 4
NORTH WESTERN SYDNEY

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CASE STUDY 4
NORTH WESTERN, SYDNEY
CONSEQUENCE OF THE FAILURE

Construction
• Collapse of the excavation, with consequent backfilling delaying
construction.
• Loss of parking and limited access for the neighbouring residential
building.

Long Term
• Delayed project delivery due to the backfilling and additional
stabilisation works required.
• Increased future insurance costs for the Builder on the project.

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CASE STUDY 5
MONA VALE

This project involved:


• a 2.5m deep excavation in recent sand deposits.
• a steel sheet pile shoring system.
• one row of screw anchors.

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CASE STUDY 5
MONA VALE

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CASE STUDY 5
MONA VALE

Anchor Shaft

Grout

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REVIEW OF CAUSES
What were the causes of these failures?

THE PRINCIPAL CAUSE WAS CUTTING CORNERS IN


THE DESIGN PROCESSES!

Other Causes: Design Errors


• Using ‘Flexible’ retaining walls to support sensitive structures.
• Failure to determine what services might be affected by the
shoring wall and anchors.
• Failing to consider locally deeper excavations
[ie. Don’t forget the lift pits!].
• Using a Computer Program for design without understanding
how it works.

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REVIEW OF CAUSES
What were the causes of these failures?
Other Causes – Specification & Construction Errors
Anchor Specification Errors
• Specifying anchors only in terms of the SWL
• Specifying short anchors
• Specifying steep anchors in sand

Construction Errors
• Not following the geotechnical warnings given
• Ignoring the warning signs that something was wrong

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LESSONS FOR DESIGN

DESIGN IS NOT CALCULATIONS


(although calculations are a part of it)

Before Starting your Design, you need to at least know:


• Site Geotechnical Conditions
[i.e. A Geotechnical Report]
• A Survey of the Site & Land surrounding the site
• Details of Services surrounding the site
[Dial Before You Dig]
• Details of the Footing System of Buildings within the
‘Zone of Influence’ of the Anchors.
• Confirmation of the Permission to anchor under the
neighbouring property.

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LESSONS FOR DESIGN
DESIGN IS NOT CALCULATIONS
(although calculations are a part of it)

The Design Process should at least include:


1. Determination of design limits based on the
surrounding structures & services.
2. Determine the design depth of the excavation
[e.g. including lift pits, footings, over excavation etc.].
3. Evaluation of the best type of shoring wall to be used.
4. Calculations for the Shoring Wall & Anchors.
5. Documentation [i.e. The Drawings and / or Specification].

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LESSONS FOR DESIGN

THE SPECIFICATION MUST SUMMARISE THE DESIGN

For Ground Anchors AS4678, Clause D4.6 requires:


a) Type of Anchor (ie. Temporary or Permanent) and the Design Life.
b) Expected Anchorage Zone material.
c) Minimum free length.
d) Ultimate Design Load.
e) Test proof load and test load duration.
f) Lock-off Load.
In addition, the Installation Angle is very important.

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LESSONS FOR DESIGN
Specification : Monitoring Requirements
In addition, SCE recommend specifying the monitoring
requirements for all shoring installations.
This should include at least:
1. A daily ‘walk around’ of the site and regular photography.
2. Regular, accurate survey of monitoring points located both
along and down the face of the shoring wall.
3. Timeframe for the provision of monitoring results to the
engineer. [e.g. results to be provided with 48 hours].
4. Warning and Action [e.g. backfilling] deflection limits.

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SOME LESSONS FROM THE FAILURES

1. AS 4678 is important and should be followed; non-


compliance leads to failure.
2. A Failure to consider overall & global stability of the shoring
system.
3. If the monitoring reveals a problem, it is a warning; so get
independent engineering advice quickly – and preferably
not from the anchoring / shoring designer.
4. An early independent review can usually avoid a
catastrophe – why not ‘phone a friend’.

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SOME LESSONS FROM THE FAILURES (2)
(EXPERTISE)

1. Appropriate expertise essential.


2. Interaction between Structural & Ground
Engineers – if poor, failure inevitable.
3. Ground & Geotechnical Engineers – don’t
assume that someone who can drill & test
understands design processes.

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ENGINEERING RISK & LIABILITY
Professional Issues
1. Code of Ethics & Relevant Expertise – don’t design
what you don’t understand.
2. Soil / Structure Interaction & Ground Engineering.
3. Comply with Standards [e.g. AS 4678, CIRIA C580].
4. Be involved in the Contract Inspection & Review
processes.
Commercial Issues
• Can you afford to be sued?
• What is your reputation worth?

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THANK YOU
Any Questions?

A copy of this presentation is available on our website.


www.shirley.net.au, ‘Links & Downloads’, SCE Papers & Publications.
http://www.shirley.net.au/index.php?page=links_downloads&id=2&table=downloads

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