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The construction of underground tunnels in soft ground in urban areas involves the potential for ground movements caused by the tunnelling to affect existing surface structures. Masonry structures are at particular risk of crack damage. Conventional empirical building assessments do not fully capture all aspects of this soil-structure interaction situation. Numerical methods are increasingly used for such problems. It is common practice in empirical and numerical methods to model a building as an elastic beam in 2D. The objective of this thesis is the development of a new approach to the numerical modelling of masonry buildings using surface beams in 3D. In phase one of this project, finite element analyses of elastic and masonry facades are undertaken and the traditional beam method of modelling them is assessed. New equivalent elastic surface beams are developed, the properties of which account for the dimensions and openings in facades which were found to influence the response to settlements. Equivalent masonry beams are also developed which have a constitutive model that accounts for the different response of masonry buildings in hogging and sagging. Timoshenko beams are chosen to model the facades and these beams were implemented into the OXFEM finite element program with full 3D capability along with the new constitutive beam models.

A Thesis submitted for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy at the University of Oxford Balliol College Trinity Term 2006
University of Oxford
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