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Special Publication 199 London, 2003

Response of buildings to excavation-

induced ground movements
Proceedings of the international conference held at
Imperial College, London, UK, on 17–18 July 2001
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Edited by

F M Jardine

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Part B
The conference papers
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CIRIA SP199 163


V A Ilyichev, P A Konovalov and N S Nikiforova

Research Institute of Bases and Underground Structures (NIIOSP), Moscow, Russia


The reconstruction of the historic centre of Moscow that is taking place involves
underground construction. Examples including shops as well as arts and business centres
are: the store Okhotny Ryad at Manezhnaya Square, the cultural centre Gostiny Dvor in
Ilyinka Street, the Berlin House store in Petrovka Street, the business centre in Malaya
Ordynka Street. The Research Institute of Bases and Underground Structures (NIIOSP)
which has organised a geotechnical monitoring process for the neighbouring buildings,
formed for this purpose a scientific co-ordination committee in Moscow. NIIOSP has
also issued the normative document Recommendations for the Geotechnical Monitoring
Process for Underground Construction in Moscow. This includes specifications for the
geotechnical monitoring process. These recommendations define the sizes of the zones
of the trough that impacts on the neighbouring buildings, a list of different systems for
making measurements, respective regulations and special laws – the documents that
must be signed by the building owners, on the one hand, and by the organisation
performing geotechnical monitoring, on the other. The geotechnical monitoring process
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includes the following components: prediction, measurement, construction, environment

protection, analysis and quality control. It is carried out as a special project.

Keywords: Geotechnical monitoring process, underground structures, neighbouring

buildings, normative document. Moscow.


The reconstruction of historic areas within the congested area of urban housing in
Moscow often includes the construction of below-ground structures or the deepening of
existing building basements. As a result, neighbouring buildings and facilities having
cultural or, at least, economic value are often within the zones affected by the processes
employed during the reconstruction. This alters the displacement mode of the soil mass
beneath the foundations of existing buildings that happens as a result of excavation,
changes in ground water level and, sometimes, changes in the composition of the water.
Buildings may experience considerable additional deformations and become damaged.
In Moscow, geotechnical monitoring at sites is viewed in normative documents as being
part of the way to ensure the safety of such buildings.

Geotechnical monitoring is legally required by Moscow Government Resolution No 896

On the measures to be taken for strengthening control over construction and
redevelopment in the congested housing environment, dated 16 December 1997.
Geotechnical monitoring should be undertaken by a specialised geotechnical
organisation. During underground construction in these areas, the monitoring
organisation should report on a regular basis either to a co-ordination committee
established for especially important sites or to the client and general designer.

Geotechnical monitoring in these situations is a complex systematic process which

includes monitoring the condition of the building or facility being redeveloped and of
the bases and foundations of neighbouring buildings, the evaluation of monitoring

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Ilyichev, Konovalov and Nikiforova

results and a forecast of any post-construction changes in their condition for a one-year
and subsequent period of operation.

Geotechnical monitoring consists of several components: prediction, research and

development, measurement, control, environment protection and analysis.


In Moscow, geotechnical monitoring was applied for the first time between 1994 and
1997, during the reconstruction of Manezhnaya Square which involved underground
development. A trading and recreational complex, Okhotny Ryad, was erected there.
The Moscow Government formed a Co-ordination Committee that included
representatives of 24 research and design organisations for the resolution of complicated
issues arising during the construction process. All the organisations engaged in the
provision of scientific support for Manezhnaya Square reconstruction reported to the
Co-ordination Committee on a regular basis. The Co-ordination Committee was headed
by Professor V A Ilyichev, Director of the Research Institute of Bases and Underground
Structures (NIIOSP).

The trading and recreational complex Okhotny Ryad (Figure 1) is a development formed
at two levels, the deeper part is at the 122 m level, the shallow part is at the 130 m level
(the ground level being 138 to 140 m). A diaphragm wall, 37 m deep, serves as an
enclosing structure. NIIOSP headed the geotechnical monitoring on the underground
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structure itself, on neighbouring historic buildings, and on the adjoining ground,

including ground water, subway tunnels, etc Special attention was paid to the
preservation of the historic buildings surrounding the Okhotny Ryad development.
These include:
· Manezh Central Exhibition Hall (constructed in 1817)
· Church of St. Tatyana the Martyr (1833–1836)
· old building of Moscow State University (1786–1793)
· All-Russian JSC VAO Intourist (1934)
· National Hotel (1901–1903)
· State Duma building (1932–1936)
· Moscow Hotel (1935–1936)
· former V I Lenin Museum (1892)
· State Historical Museum (1874–1884)
· Corner Arsenal Tower (1492)
· Kremlin Wall (section up to the Troitsky Tower) (1485–1495)
· Arsenal building (1701–1736).

A certificate of the condition of subsurface and above-ground structures was issued for
each building. And before the start of work a bilateral legal agreement specifying the
condition of the building with all its structural defects was drawn up and signed by
representatives of the organisation performing geotechnical monitoring and the building
owner. Later, similar documents were drawn up at each stage that involved underground
development. These legal documents were used for resolution of conflicts arising where
owners claimed compensation from the client for damage made to their buildings.

The prediction component of geotechnical monitoring involved making predictions of

the settlement of all buildings and the underground structure itself as well as a forecast
of changes in ground water level.

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Ilyichev, Konovalov and Nikiforova

The research and development component covered the protection measures to be taken
in case of unacceptable settlements of any building.

The measurement component included various systems of monitoring, eg the condition

of nearby building structures, the deformations of the buildings, the underground
structure of Okhotny Ryad, the soil mass, the subway tunnels, groundwater and changes
to the level and the water’s composition. The measurements of building deformations
were made by levelling instruments NI-004 (Carl Zeiss™) and Geodimeter-540
(Geotronic™); diaphragm wall slopes were measured by special inclinometers (of the
Institute of the Physics of the Earth, Russia). All measurement systems were co-
ordinated in time and space.

Information about construction materials, quality, and workmanship control was

submitted to the control section. The ecological section dealt with data about the impact
of the work on the environment. The analytical team carried analysis of the geotechnical
situation on a site.
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Figure 1 The Okhotny Ryad trading and recreational complex

The results of geotechnical monitoring performed at the Okhotny Ryad site are
presented in Ilyichev, Konovalov and Nikiforova (1999).

According to the established procedure, the Co-ordination Committee meetings were

held on a weekly basis in headquarters located near the construction site. During such
meetings reports on performance were made by those doing the work relating to the
various components of the geotechnical monitoring. The concern is that the construction
organisations sometimes do not adhere to the designs or specifications. This can cause
additional deformation of neighbouring buildings. The Co-ordination Committee
considers these special situations and makes relevant decisions in order to ensure
building safety. In extraordinary situations, on-site emergency meetings would be held
by the Co-ordination Committee and decisions taken to prevent re-occurrence of the

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Ilyichev, Konovalov and Nikiforova

situation. For example, during tier-by-tier excavation of a basement, instruments

registered a diaphragm wall’s upper part tilting inwards more than expected. In accord
with the decision made by the Co-ordination Committee, soil berms were constructed
against the perimeter wall of the excavation and design alternatives found to provide
additional anchorage of the diaphragm wall. There was another case when deviation of
the upper part of the diaphragm wall was observed on the other side of the basement
excavation – near the Kremlin Wall. A gap up to 100 mm wide appeared at the ground
surface along the diaphragm wall. At the Co-ordination Committee meeting, thermal
deformation of anchor structures was identified as the reason for the gap’s emergence
and recommendations were given on the selection of materials for filling the gap.
Moreover, the excavation was open throughout the winter while the internal structures
were built. Taking into account the severity of Russian winters, the Co-ordination
Committee considered a package of measures that maintained above-zero temperatures
on the surface of the diaphragm wall and controlled its deformations on a regular basis.

The Co-ordination Committee’s giving permission for work to continue despite subway
surveyors’ claims that the tunnel linings of two subway lines beneath the constructed
facility were deforming is another example of the Co-ordination Committee’s
intervention in the construction of the Okhotny Ryad development. By comparison with
the results of all geotechnical monitoring measuring systems at Okhotny Ryad with a
check point right inside the tunnel, it was possible to identify an error in the results of
the measuring system used by the subway surveyors.
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There was a similar case of building deformations with the Historical Museum. The
administrators of the building claimed that this historic and architectural monument had
been deformed and they demanded termination of the Okhotny Ryad construction. The
Co-ordination Committee examining this claim ascertained that the Historical Museum
building deformations were not connected with the construction.


The geotechnical monitoring that has been carried out by NIIOSP at other important
Moscow sites for new buildings or the reconstruction of old buildings, and which
involved below-ground structures near existing buildings of cultural, historical or
economic value, was arranged in a similar way. These works, carried out between 1995
and 2000 in the historic areas of Moscow, include:
· reconstruction of the Old Gostiny Dvor building at 4 Ilyinka Street, Moscow
(Ilyichev, Konovalov, Baholdin and Nikiforova, 1998)
· construction of a residential building at 3 Slesarny Lane and administrative
buildings with underground parking lots at 6/8 Maroseyka Street and 40/42 Malaya
Ordynka Street
· construction of the trading centre Berlin House with basement floors at 5 Petrovka

During reconstruction of the Old Gostiny Dvor building, which included constructing a
translucent cover over the 10 000 m2 courtyard of the building and an underground
storey, a co-ordination committee was again formed in order to direct the geotechnical
monitoring process. The committee included the prefect of the municipal area of the
central administrative district of Moscow, the director-general of the OAO Gostiny Dvor
(the customer), the vice-president of the Transstroi Corporation (the contractor), heads
of leading research and design institutes involved in the reconstruction of the building.
In accordance with the established procedure, the Co-ordination Committee meetings
were held once per week. Geotechnical monitoring results and other issues were
addressed during such meetings. In case of an extraordinary situation, on site, meetings

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Ilyichev, Konovalov and Nikiforova

were held more frequently. Thus, scientific deviations were detected by means of
geotechnical monitoring. For example, when the basements of a building were deepened
by 4 m, the grip length during excavation for laying strip foundations reinforced with
root piles exceeded 6 m which is not permitted by safety regulations: works were
suspended. In another case, there was an emergency situation when part of a building’s
brick wall collapsed, against which an underground collector for mains had been laid.
After a thorough analysis of all the monitoring data, it was ascertained that deterioration
of the masonry was the reason for the accident. The co-ordination committee made the
decision to continue reconstruction of the building. Since then more attention was paid
to monitoring the rate of crack growth in the walls of the building and to the settlement
of the building.


Some of the results of management of geotechnical monitoring of below-ground

structures near existing buildings in Moscow are as follows.
1 The geotechnical monitoring has showed that the settlements of the existing
buildings in Moscow during these excavations were typically 2–20 mm.
2 Geotechnical monitoring packages and requirements have been determined.
3 The following research, technical and design institutions take part in geotechnical
· NIIOSP (named after Gersevanov)
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· TsNIISK (named after Kucherenko),

· Geotsentr – Moscow
· Fundamentproject
· Geoecology Institute of the Russian Academy of Science
· Earth Physics Institute.
4 Normative documents, which include sections dedicated to geotechnical monitoring
in Moscow, has been issued (listed in references).
5 Stemming from the geotechnical monitoring carried out at sites with subsurface
structures near existing buildings, NIIOSP has issued a series of normative
documents of recommendations that apply to Moscow.
6 Each of the NIIOSP recommendations includes a section dedicated to geotechnical
monitoring and contains the following requirements for the monitoring process:
· integration, implying that all monitoring processes should be co-ordinated in
time and space
· all monitoring points should be located in relation to design sections
· sampling frequency should be adjusted to match the intensity of activities or
change in the building structures, the adjoining soil mass and the neighbouring
· the precision of the measurements should ensure the trustworthiness of the
gathered information and its being in conformity with the accuracy of its
· measured parameters should determine marginal states of a newly constructed
facility, neighbouring buildings and adjoining soil mass
· consistency of reporting.

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Features of Geotechnical Monitoring during Underground Structures Construction in a
Congested Urban Housing Environment. Bases, Foundations and Soil Mechanics, vol 4,
pp 20–26
(1998). Reconstruction of the Foundations of the Old Gostiny Dvor Building in Moscow
and Follow-up Monitoring. Bases, Foundations and Soil Mechanics, vol 4–5, pp 43–46
Moscow State Construction Norms. Bases, Foundations and Underground Structures.
MSCN 2.07-97, the Government of Moscow, 1998, 136 pp
Instruction for Monitoring Movement of the Ground Surface and Surface Facilities
during the Construction of Subsurface Structures in Moscow. Russian State Technical
Inspection, M., 1997, 73 pp
Recommendations for the Design and Construction of Bases, Foundations and
Underground Structures during Reconstruction of Civil and Historic Buildings. The
Government of Moscow, Moscow Architectural Committee, M, 1998, 89 pp
Recommendations for the Examination and Monitoring of the Technical Condition of
Buildings in Operation which are Located Near New Construction or Reconstruction
Sites. The Government of Moscow, Moscow Architectural Committee, M, 1998, 89 pp
Recommendations for the Design and Construction of Bases and Foundations for
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Buildings Constructed near Existing Buildings in Congested Urban Housing

Environment. The Government of Moscow, Moscow Architectural Committee, M, 1999,
55 pp

336 CIRIA SP199