Cost based design considerations for excavation support systems

L. Sebastian Bryson, Jorge Romana-Giraldo, Sekyi Kobina Intsiful

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


A primary concern for projects involving deep excavations in urban environments is the potential of excavation-induced damage to neighboring infrastructure. Consequently, stiff excavation support systems are required to complete the work where ground displacements regularly control the design process. While traditional studies focus on the design of these support systems as a function of performance, few studies focus on the design of support systems as a function of costs. This study presents a comprehensive approach in which the allowable damage of the adjacent infrastructure is linked directly to the cost of the excavation support system. A laminate beam approach is used to model the adjacent infrastructure and to link the damage level with the excavation-induced movements. Wall movements are related to the stiffness of the wall section and the soil characteristics, such as the basal stability of the cut. A relationship between the wall section and its estimated cost is presented based on collected data from the RSMeans Building Construction Cost Database. The relationship between the estimated building damage and its associated preliminary cost allows the designer/engineer to track cost and deformation simultaneously with the wall design. The presented approach does not involve the traditional design practice in which an iterative process is required to determine the wall section and to comply with damage limitations. Instead, this approach requires a single calculation process in which a simple graphical representation of normalized cost versus the tolerable damage in the adjacent infrastructure can be obtained.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)23-33
Number of pages11
JournalGeotechnical Special Publication
Issue numberGSP 324
StatePublished - 2021
Event2021 International Foundations Congress and Equipment Expo: Earth Retention, Ground Improvement, and Seepage Control, IFCEE 2021 - Dallas, United States
Duration: May 10 2021May 14 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). All rights reserved.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Architecture
  • Building and Construction
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology


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