1) Research Associate, University of Cambridge, Department of Engineering,

2) Lecturer, University of Cambridge, Department of Engineering,

3) Professor, University of Cambridge, Department of Engineering,


Predicting damage to masonry structures due to tunnelling-induced ground movements remains a challenge for practising design engineers. Useful simplified procedures exist, but more detailed analysis has the potential to improve these procedures. This paper considers the use of finite element modelling, including non-linear constitutive laws for the soil and the structure, to simulate damage to a simple masonry structure subjected to tunnelling in sand. The numerical model is validated through comparison with the results of a series of centrifuge tests and used to perform a sensitivity study on the effect of building weight and masonry damage on the structural response. Results show a direct correlation between the weight of the structure, normalised to the relative stiffness between the structure and the soil, and the modification of the settlement profile. By including a cracking model for the masonry, the reduction in structural stiffness caused by progressive masonry damage is also proven to affect the building deflection.


Keywords: Cracking, Numerical modelling, Masonry, Settlements, Soil-structure interaction, Tunnelling