Vulnerability assessment of buildings subject to tunnel-induced settlements: the influence of orientation and position of the building

Giorgia Giardina, Vincenza Floria, Max A N Hendriks, Jan G Rots

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


The assessment of settlement induced damage on buildings during the preliminary phase of tunnel excavation projects, is nowadays receiving greater attention. Analyses at different levels of detail are performed on the surface building in proximity to the tunnel, to evaluate the risk of structural damage and the need of mitigation measures.
In this paper, the possibility to define a correlation between the main parameters that influence the structural response to settlement and the potential damage is investigated through numerical analysis. The adopted 3D finite element model allows to take into account important features that are neglected in more simplified approaches, like the soil-structure interaction, the nonlinear behaviour of the building, the three dimensional effect of the tunnelling induced settlement trough and the influence of openings in the structure. Aim of this approach is the development of an improved classification system taking into account the intrinsic vulnerability of the structure, which could have a relevant effect on the final damage assessment. Parametrical analyses are performed, focusing on the effect of the orientation and the position of the structure with respect to the tunnel.
The obtained results in terms of damage are compared with the Building Risk Assessment (BRA) procedure. This method was developed by Geodata Engineering (GDE) on the basis of empirical observations and building monitoring and applied during the construction of different metro lines in urban environment. The comparison shows a substantial agreement between the two procedures on the influence of the analyzed parameters. The finite element analyses suggest a refinement of the BRA procedure for pure sagging conditions.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of World Tunnel Congress 2012
Subtitle of host publicationTunneling and Underground Space for a Global Society
EditorsN. Phienwej, T. Boonyatee
Place of PublicationBangkok, Thailand
PublisherEngineering Institute of Thailand
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9789747197785
ISBN (Print)9747197782
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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