Underground construction activities, such as tunnelling, cause local ground movements to occur. Nearby surface structures interact with the moving ground, potentially leading to building damage. Although it is understood that the severity of building damage is influenced by the façade opening ratio (OpR) and the stiffness of the floors, experimental work in this area is lacking. This paper describes the specification and design of an experimental campaign on brick masonry buildings subjected to vertical base movements. The specimens are half-scale models of walls of two-storey buildings; models with different window arrangements and with/without floor slabs are examined. To design the experimental setup, 3D finite element analyses of the model walls were conducted. Key analysis results, presented in this paper, indicate how the examined structural properties (OpR, building weight, floor stiffness) are expected to influence the patterns of damage in the masonry. The finite element results are also used to design an instrumentation system comprising Fibre Bragg Grating (FBG) sensors and a digital image correlation (DIC) system. Data from the tests will support the formulation and validation of structural models for predicting tunnelling-induced damage in masonry buildings.