Computational modelling of building damage due to tunnelling

Giorgia Giardina, Max A N Hendriks, Jan G Rots

Research output: Chapter or section in a book/report/conference proceedingChapter in a published conference proceeding


Underground constructions in soft ground may lead to settlement damage to existing buildings. In The Netherlands the situation is particularly complex, because of the combination of soft soil, fragile pile foundations and brittle, un-reinforced masonry façades. The tunnelling design process in urban areas requires a reliable risk damage assessment. In the engineering practice the current preliminary damage assessment is based on the limiting tensile strain method (LTSM) [4]. Essentially this is an uncoupled analysis, in which the building is modelled as an elastic beam subject to imposed Greenfield settlements and the induced tensile strains are compared with a limit value for the material. The soil-structure interaction is included only as a ratio between the soil and the building stiffness [2]. In this paper, a coupled approach is evaluated. The soil-structure interaction in terms of normal and shear behaviour is represented by interface elements and a cracking model for masonry is included. This project aims to improve the existing damage classification system for masonry buildings subjected to tunnel-induced settlement, in order to evaluate the necessity of strengthening techniques or mitigation measures.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2nd International Conference on Computational Methods in Tunnelling
Subtitle of host publicationEURO:TUN 2009
Place of PublicationRuhr University Bochum, Germany
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2009


  • Damage assessment
  • Masonry building
  • Tunnelling


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