Preparing new guidelines for ground movement impact 11 Jul 2019

CIRIA News Release

A new research programme to outline guidance for ground movement impact during underground construction works has been launched in the UK by the Construction Industry Research and Information Association (CIRIA). The resulting document, titled Construction impact from ground movement – assessment and good practice guidance, is scheduled to be available in spring 2020.

Standard method for calculating ground loss
Standard method for calculating ground loss

“One of the critical success factors of the guide will be, over time, to change the mind-set of those specifying movement criteria as the starting point for design of underground structures,” said Kieran Tully, Associate Director with CIRIA. “This can often result in zero permissible movement as the criteria and overlooks consideration of the construction methodology.”

The guidance aims to cover permissible movement for different structure types dependent on their condition and structural characteristics, including newer forms of structure.

The key objectives of the research are to:

  • Identify common sources of ground movement and their methods of prediction using empirical and analytical methods.
  • Provide guidance on permissible movement for different structure types and building systems dependent on their condition and structural characteristics.
  • Show how current monitoring systems can provide information to maintain effective movement control.
  • Include a number of case studies to show good practice implemented successfully.
  • Outline the benefits of using good practice procedures.
  • Engage with professional bodies, developers, local authorities, insurance organisations, buildings and infrastructure managers, façade engineers, tier 1 and 2 contractors, architects and designers and those with a role in managing construction impact from ground movement.

“It is not just about the calculated figure, it is about the process to get to that figure,” said Tully. “Questions to be answered are, is the calculation the right approach and has it been done by a competent person? Also, what criteria are being applied? Is it just building movement or is it a holistic approach to serviceability? Is it about designing for the range of movement that can be predicted.”

The research project is being co-funded by the British Tunnelling Society and Kelvin Higgins of Geotechnical Consulting Group, and current Chair of the British Geotechnical Association, is Chair of the research project steering group. The final aim of the project is to enable those with a role in managing construction impact from ground movement to better understand the impact and adopt good practice management strategies.


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