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Temporary works design in construction and the use of 3D scanning and modelling

Learn more about temporary works and the high standards of today’s industry experts and designers with the use of 3D scanning and modelling.

Temporary works are essential to virtually any construction project, as they enable designers and builders to operate around the permanent construction works in a safe and reliable way. Temporary works are meant to provide aid in installing the permanent works; they can also provide added support in the form of propping, excavation support and general site protection among many other uses. Much like when it comes to the design of permanent work items, temporary works designers need to be skilled in this particular area.

Temporary works design in constructions should be created to a recognised standard or design code. Regarding safety, temporary works need to prioritise the welfare of the people involved in the project as much as reasonably practicable - not only during the installation process but also while in operation and during the subsequent removal phase, when temporary works are no longer required on site.

Temporary works designers should also take the time to understand the construction sequence and coordinate with permanent work designers, because, as you can imagine, these two fundamental aspects are closely intertwined with one another.

It is essential to consider any possible effect that a temporary work might cause on the permanent structure and the way in which it is installed, including the eventuality of damages or other issues.

Some example of temporary works design in construction includes scaffolding, facade retention, falsework, as well as crane supports, trench supports, timber supports, trench boxes, trench sheets, and formwork, only to mention but a few. Each of these elements covers a particular function, and a failure could have devastating consequence.

Experienced and successful temporary works design professionals need to be able to assess the feasibility and qualities of the installations, particularly in relation to the construction sequence and they additional loads being placed on the existing or permanent structure.

Identifying the most suitable concepts of structural design, and applying them to different instances is one of the most critical parts of the job with possible program/cost saving impacts. This also includes being able to assess the safety of such structures, as well as discerning qualities such as sustainability and stability, which are essential for security reasons and liability purposes.

At its core, temporary works design (in short, also sometimes known as “TWD”) aims to create a tailor-made design where required or a standard proprietary solution if possible to save on cost and installation time.

The industry often employs traditional construction and design methods, but it is opening up to exciting possibilities and other innovative solutions, such as 3D modelling, which is gaining momentum in the world of temporary works design.

Preston & Co Engineering now have full in-house 3D scanning and modelling capabilities which it uses on the majority of its projects. Allowing for accurate designs to be carried out from point cloud data (accurate to millimetres), the model then provides for a simple platform from which the temporary works can be designed and visualised to display to construction teams, party wall surveyors and other third parties who have an interest in the project.

Stability, strength, and rigidity are highly regarded principles of structural engineering. These also apply when it comes to temporary works design, where it is also about using relatively simple structural elements in synergy, in order to build something that is more complex and nuanced. By following these principles, qualified engineers can come up with useful and even creative ways to seize the properties of different materials and design approaches.

If you think we could help with your projects, please feel free to get in touch, and we can discuss how we may be able to help. We can consider design right from initial constructability stages right through to permanent structural design and how this interfaces with our Temporary Works designs.


If you want to take a look at how our temporary works packages can help your project why not take a look on our website:



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