Building Deformation Caused by Tunneling: Centrifuge Modeling

Stefan Ritter*, Giorgia Giardina, Andrea Franza, Matthew J. Dejong

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


This paper investigates the deformation of buildings due to tunneling-induced soil displacements. Centrifuge model tests of three-dimensionally (3D) printed building models subject to a plane-strain tunnel excavation in dense, dry sand are discussed. The small-scale structures replicate important building characteristics including brittle material properties similar to masonry, a realistic building layout, façade openings, strip footings, and a rough soil-structure interface. Digital images were captured during the experiments, enabling image-based measurements of the building response. Results demonstrate the essential role of the building-to-tunnel position and structural details (i.e., opening percentage and building length). The onset of building cracking and cracking patterns confirms the importance of the building-to-tunnel position and structural details. The tests illustrate that an increase in the façade opening area leads to increased shear deformations while longer buildings caused an increase in bending deflections. An evaluation of the widely accepted framework of treating a structure separately at either side of the greenfield inflection point shows that this procedure can underestimate building damage.
Original languageEnglish
Article number04020017
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2020
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Building Deformation Caused by Tunneling: Centrifuge Modeling'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this