Numerical analysis of a masonry façade subject to tunnelling-induced settlements

Giorgia Giardina, Anne V. van de Graaf, Max A. N. Hendriks, Jan G. Rots, Alessandra Marini

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82 Citations (SciVal)


This paper presents a semi-coupled approach for the modelling of the response of masonry buildings subjected to tunnelling-induced settlements. The 2D finite element model includes a continuum cracking model for the masonry material and a non-linear interface accounting for the soil and foundation stiffness. A new sequentially linear analysis scheme for non-proportional loading is also applied. The modelling approach has been validated by comparison with the results of an experimental test performed on a 1/10th scaled masonry façade. The results proved the capability of the continuum model to accurately reproduce the crack pattern and the deformation of the tested structure. A sensitivity study has been performed to evaluate the influence of building cracking and soil-structure interface parameters. The high dependency of the structural response on the material cracking and soil-structure interface stiffness indicates that the presented model can be used to perform extensive parametric analyses to improve the existent damage design curves.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)234-247
Number of pages14
JournalEngineering Structures
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2013


  • Cracking
  • Damage assessment
  • Masonry
  • Numerical analysis
  • Soil-structure interaction


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