Year of Publication


Document Type





Civil Engineering

First Advisor

L. Sebastian Bryson


Due to space limitations in urban areas, underground construction has become a common practice worldwide. When using deep excavations, excessive lateral movements are a major concern because they can lead to significant displacements and rotations in adjacent structures. Therefore, accurate predictions of lateral wall deflections and surface settlements are important design criteria in the analysis and design of excavation support systems. This research shows that the current design methods, based on plane strain analyses, are not accurate for designing excavation support systems and that fully three-dimensional (3D) analyses including wall installation effects are needed. A complete 3D finite element simulation of the wall installation at the Chicago and State Street excavation case history is carried out to show the effects of modeling: (i) the installation sequence of the supporting wall, (ii) the excavation method for the wall, and (iii) existing adjacent infrastructure. This model is the starting point of a series of parametric analyses that show the effects of the system stiffness on the resulting excavation-related ground movements. Furthermore, a deformation-based methodology for the analysis and design of excavation support systems is proposed in order to guide the engineer in the different stages of the design. The methodology is condensed in comprehensive flow charts that allow the designer to size the wall and supports, given the allowable soil distortion of adjacent structures or predict ground movements, given data about the soil and support system.