Effect of constructing twin tunnels under a building supported by pile foundations in the Sydney central business district

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Underground Space (China), 2019, 4 (4), pp. 261 - 276
Issue Date:
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© 2019 Tongji University and Tongji University Press In congested cities such as Sydney, competition for underground space escalates within the built environment because various assets require finite geotechnical strength and support. Specific problems such as damage to buildings may develop when high-rise buildings on piled foundations are subject to ground movements as tunnels are constructed. This paper focuses on the risks of tunneling beneath Sydney's Martin Place and how buildings are subject to additional loads caused by tunneling. The key objective of this study is to improve the understanding of tunnel–rock–pile interactions and to encourage sustainable development. A finite element model is developed to predict the interaction between tunnel construction and piled foundations. The tunnel, rock, and pile components are studied separately and are then combined into a single model. The ground model is based on the characteristics of Hawkesbury Sandstone and is developed through a desktop study. The piles are designed using Australian Standards and observations of high-rise buildings. The tunnel construction is modeled based on the construction sequence of a tunnel boring machine. After combining the components, a parametric study on the relationship between tunnel location, basements, and piles is conducted. Our findings, thus far, show that tunneling can increase the axial and flexural loads of piles, where the additional loading exceeds the structural capacity of some piles, especially those that are close to basement walls. The parametric study reveals a strong relationship between tunnel depth and lining stresses, while the relationship between tunnel depth and induced pile loads is less convincing. Furthermore, the horizontal tunnel position relative to piles shows a stronger relationship with pile loads. Further research into tunnel–rock–pile interactions is recommended, especially beneath basements, to substantiate the results of this study.
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