Journal Published Online: 22 July 2013
Volume 36, Issue 5

Centrifuge Modeling of Deep Excavations and Their Interaction With Adjacent Buildings



Major cities in the world are experiencing a rapid growth in population while becoming increasingly overcrowded and congested. In recent years, this has created a huge demand for underground infrastructure, which often involves the design of major mass transit tunnel systems; these tunnel systems (underground tunnels and metro stations) are becoming increasingly necessary to construct in very close proximity to existing buildings. The prediction of excavation-induced deformations, therefore, becomes a key issue in the planning and design process for these schemes. However, current design approaches are conservative and often lead to unnecessary concern and expenditure in the design and provision of protective measures. A better understanding of the mechanisms involved in the excavation soil–structure interaction could reduce costs and help avoid potential problems. A series of small-scale model tests was carried out in the geotechnical centrifuge at Cambridge University to investigate the interaction between excavations and model buildings. Excavations (simulated by adopting a novel two-fluid technique) in a “free field” were also undertaken to assess the difference between free-field ground movements and those affected by a stiff model building. A detailed description of the centrifuge models and test procedures is presented in this paper, followed by the presentation of test results that demonstrate the effect of the stiffness of the model building on the excavation-induced displacements.

Author Information

Elshafie, M. Z.
Laing O'Rourke Centre for Construction Engineering and Technology, Dept. of Engineering, Univ. of Cambridge, Cambridge, GB
Choy, C. K.
Geotechnical Consulting Group LLP, London, GB
Mair, R.
Sir Kirby Laing Professor of Civil Engineering, Dept. of Engineering, Univ. of Cambridge, Cambridge, GB
Pages: 12
Price: $25.00
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Stock #: GTJ20120209
ISSN: 0149-6115
DOI: 10.1520/GTJ20120209