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438

Three-dimensional deformation behavior of the


Taipei National Enterprise Center (TNEC)
excavation case history
Chang-Yu Ou, Bor-Yuan Shiau, and I-Wen Wang

Abstract: The Taipei National Enterprise Center (TNEC) excavation project was constructed using the top-down construction method, in which a diaphragm wall was supported by the concrete floor slab. Previous studies have reported
the deformation and stressstrain behaviors along the main observation section, which was considered to be in the
plane strain condition. This paper examines the three-dimensional movements of the soil and wall through field observations and finite element analyses. The results indicate that the soil outside the excavation zone tends to move toward
the excavation center. Such a tendency increases with excavation depth. The soil settlement near the corner of the excavation is less than that near the center due to the corner effect. The empirical equation proposed by Clough and
ORourke for estimating the ground settlement appears to be adequate for plane strain sections and other non-plane
strain sections. Numerical studies indicate that the wall deformation and ground surface settlement can be reasonably
predicted using three-dimensional finite element analysis. Parametric studies revealed that for this case record zoned
excavation commencing near the final stage of excavation has very little effect on excavation behavior.
Key words: TNEC case history, deep excavation, deformation, three-dimensional finite element method.
Rsum : Le projet dexcavation pour le Taipei National Enterprise Center (TNEC) a t ralis en utilisant la
mthode de construction du haut vers le bas, dans laquelle un mur diaphragme tait support par une dalle de plancher
en bton. Des tudes antrieures ont prsent les comportements dformation et contrainte/dformation le long de la
principale section dobservation, que lon considrait tre dans une condition de dformation plane. Cet article examine
les mouvements tridimensionnels du sol et du mur au moyen dobservations de terrain et danalyses en lments finis.
Les rsultats indiquent que le sol lextrieur de la zone dexcavation a tendance bouger vers le centre de
lexcavation. Une telle tendance saccrot avec la profondeur. Le tassement du sol prs des coins de lexcavation est
moindre que prs du centre cause de leffet de coin. Lquation empirique propose par Clough et ORourke pour
valuer le tassement du terrain semble tre adquate pour les sections en dformation plane de mme que pour dautres
sections qui ne sont pas en dformation plane. Des tudes numriques indiquent que la dformation du mur et le
tassement de la surface du terrain peuvent tre raisonnablement prdits au moyen de lanalyse en lments finis. Des
tudes paramtriques rvlent que pour cette histoire de cas, lexcavation par zone dbutant prs de ltape finale de
lexcavation a une effet trs faible sur le comportement de lexcavation.
Mots cls : histoire de cas du TNEC, excavation profonde, dformation, mthode dlments finis 3D.
[Traduit par la Rdaction]

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448

Introduction
The Taipei National Enterprise Center (TNEC) building
was constructed in 1991. The TNEC is an 18-story building
and has five basement levels. The TNEC excavation was
completed using the top-down construction method, in which
the retaining wall in each excavation stage was supported by
a concrete floor slab. A considerably long period of time
was required between two successive excavation stages because of construction of the concrete floor slab. Roughly one
and half years was spent to complete the basement construction. Construction sequence and conditions were normal and
well documented.
Received April 8, 1998. Accepted October 6, 1999.
C.Y. Ou, B.Y. Shiau, and I.W. Wang. Department of
Construction Engineering, National Taiwan University of
Science and Technology, P.O. Box 90-130, Taipei, Taiwan,
Republic of China.
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Many monitoring instruments were installed, including


earthwater pressure cells on the wall, rebar stress meters on
the reinforcement cage, electronic-type piezometers, inclinometers in the wall and soil, heave gauges, and settlement
gauges. Field observation records of the excavation were
also fairly complete. Based on the field observations, the displacement and stressstrain behaviors for the excavation have
been studied extensively (Ou et al. 1998), particularly for the
time-dependent deformation behavior. The stressstrain behavior and strength characteristics of the subsurface soils
have also been studied extensively (Ou and Shiau 1993).
Therefore, not only does the case facilitate a more thorough
understanding of the general excavation behavior, but it also
provides a good case history to calibrate and verify numerical tools.
To observe the settlement characteristics, a dense array of
settlement gauges was installed outside the excavation zone,
as shown in Fig. 1. The settlement at the section 30 m west
of the southeast corner, which is assumed to be in the plain
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Fig. 1. Geometry and instrumentation of the Taipei National Enterprise Center (TNEC) excavation project.

strain condition, and that near the corner associated with


each construction activity were obtained. Our previous studies have presented the settlement profile at the section 30 m
west of the southeast corner (Ou et al. 1998). The settlement
around the southeast corner is studied herein.
To reduce wall deformations, excavation was carried out
in zones after the concrete floor slab located at 13.7 m below the ground surface was cast. At this stage, the sites center zone was first excavated and the temporary strut was then
installed. Thereafter, the sites side zones were excavated
and installed with the strut. The effect of zoned excavation
on the deformation behavior is investigated using the field
observations and three-dimensional finite element analysis.

Ground conditions
According to the site investigation, the site consists of five
layers of alternating silty clay and silty sand deposits overlying
a thick gravel formation, which is located 46 m below the
ground surface and has a standard penetration resistance (SPT)
N value greater than 100. Figure 2 shows the subsurface

ground conditions and the characteristics of the soil. Prior to


excavation, the groundwater table was 2 m below the ground
surface.
As Fig. 2 indicates, the third layer is a 25 m thick silty
clay (CL), which primarily affects the excavation behavior
in the TNEC case history. The liquid limit for this layer of
clay ranges from 29 to 39%, and the plastic index is around
17%. The one-dimensional consolidation test results reveals that the clay is a lightly overconsolidated material
with an overconsolidation ratio (OCR) of 1.031.72. The
ratio of undrained shear strength to effective overburden
pressure (Su/ v) is close to 0.36 based on the unconsolidated undrained (UU) test, and 0.320.34 based on the field
vane shear test. The ratio Su/ v is 0.29 for the K0-consolidated conventional triaxial axial compression undrained
(CK0U-AC) test and 0.21 for the K0-consolidated conventional triaxial axial extension undrained (CK0U-EC) test.
Figure 2 also presents the variation of the undrained shear
strength from one of the piezocone penetration tests with
pore-water pressure measurement (CPTU), using a cone
empirical factor Nk = 15.
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Fig. 2. Subsurface ground conditions and characteristics of soils. , water content; L , liquid limit; P , plastic limit.

Construction sequence and field


observation

Fig. 3. Construction sequence for the TNEC excavation project.


All values are in metres. EL, elevation.

The building site is approximately trapezoid in shape as


shown in Fig. 1. The maximum excavation depth was 19.7 m.
A diaphragm wall, 90 cm thick and 35 m deep, was constructed prior to excavation and used as the earth-retaining
structure. The excavation was completed using the top-down
construction method in eight stages. For the top-down construction method, the concrete floor slab is employed to support the retaining wall. Figure 3 presents the basement
construction sequence, which is described as follows:
(1) stage 1: excavate to 2.8 m below the ground surface
(2) stage 2: install temporary steel struts at 2.0 m and then
excavate to 4.9 m
(3) stage 3: construct the first floor slab (B1F) at 3.5 m
and then demolish the struts and excavate to 8.6 m
(4) stage 4: simultaneously construct the second floor slab
(B2F) at 7.1 m below the ground surface and the ground
level slab (i.e., roof slab) and then excavate to 11.8 m
(5) stage 5: construct the third floor slab (B3F) at 10.3 m
and excavate to 15.2 m
(6) stage 6A: construct the fourth floor slab (B4F) at
13.7 m and excavate the center strip to 17.3 m below the
ground surface
(7) stage 6B: install temporary steel struts in the center
strip and excavate the side strips to 17.3 m
(8) stage 7: install temporary steel struts in the side strips
and excavate to 19.7 m
As described above, zoned excavation was performed after
casting the concrete floor slab (B4F) to reduce the wall displacement and ground settlement. At this stage, the sites cen-

tral zone (area PQSR in Fig. 1) was first excavated and temporary struts, H400 400 13 21 with an average spacing
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Fig. 4. Longitudinal and latitudinal wall deformations at I-1, I-2, and I-3.

of 3.4 m, were then installed. Thereafter, the sites side zones


were excavated and braced with similar struts. The struts
were demolished after the floor slab was completed.
Inclinometers I-1, I-2, and I-3 were installed in the south
wall 21 m and 57 m west of the southeast corner and 31 m
east of the southwest corner, respectively. The main observation section, which is 21 m west of the southeast corner,
contains four inclinometer casings (SI1SI4) and three
multianchored point extensometers outside the excavation
zone. This arrangement permits the direction and magnitude of soil movement at depth to be measured. The soil
movement results below the ground surface at the main observation section have been previously reported (Ou et al.
1998). Figure 1 depicts the dense array of settlement measurement gauges uniformly distributed outside the southern
part of the excavation zone. Therefore, the settlement profile at the section 30 m west of the southeast corner, which

is considered to be in the plane strain condition, and sections near the corner, which is in nature three-dimensional,
can be observed.

Observed deformation behavior


Lateral wall deformation behavior
For discussion purposes, wall deformation in the north
south direction will be referred to as the longitudinal wall
deformation and that in the eastwest direction as latitudinal
wall deformation. The inclinometers can simultaneously
measure longitudinal and latitudinal wall deformation but
are less accurate in the latitudinal direction.
Figure 4a presents the longitudinal wall deformations at I1I-3, in which the deformation direction is perpendicular to
the wall. The figure shows that the longitudinal wall deformation at all inclinometers was similar before stage 6A. The
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Fig. 5. Longitudinal and latitudinal ground deformations at the final stage of excavation.

wall deformation at I-2 was slightly larger than that at I-1


and I-3 after the completion of the center strip excavation
(stage 6A). This is because excavating in the center strip directly acted on I-2, while the unexcavated soil in the side
strips hindered the movement of I-1 and I-3. At stage 6B,
the increase of longitudinal wall deformation at I-2 is
smaller than that at I-1 and I-3. The influence of zoned excavation is further discussed in the last section of this paper.
The longitudinal wall deformation at I-1 following the final
stage was larger than those at I-2 and I-3. However, deformation at I-1 should be similar to that at I-3 because both I1 and I-3 are located in the side strips and have exactly the
same construction sequence.
Figure 4a also reveals that except for stages 1 and 2,
which have cantilever-type wall movement, the ratios of
maximum longitudinal wall deflection to the excavation
depth are in the range of 0.00430.0057. These values are
generally larger than those of Ou et al. (1993) and Woo and
Moh (1990). This is perhaps attributed to a considerably
long period of time required for constructing the concrete
floor slab, which was employed as the primarily lateral support system. Wall deformation generally increases with
elapsed time for each excavation stage due to soil creep or
consolidation (Lin and Wang 1995).
Figure 4b presents the latitudinal wall deformations at
I-1I-3, for which the deformation direction is parallel to the
wall. The negative sign denotes that the wall deflected to the
west. As shown in the figure, the wall at I-1 and I-3 deflected toward the central zone. This may result because the
center sections have the largest wall deformation (i.e., in the
plane strain condition) and the wall at the side strips was affected by the corners. Therefore, both the wall and soil tend
to move toward the excavation center. During the final stage,
the wall at I-2 moved slightly toward the east. It is not clear
why the wall at I-2 exhibited such behavior at this stage. The
maximum latitudinal wall deflections are less than 1.0 cm
for all inclinometers.
Lateral soil deformation behavior
Figure 5a depicts the longitudinal deformation of the inclinometer casings I-1 and SI-1SI-4, which are 21 m west

of the southeast corner, for the final stage of excavation. The


longitudinal soil deformation behavior at SI-1, which was
only 2 m away from I-1, was generally similar to the wall
deformation behavior at I-1, except that SI-1 had slightly
larger movement at the top of the casing than I-1. Both I-1
and SI-1 had what will be called a deep inward type longitudinal wall deformation. SI-2 exhibited the cantilever-type
lateral movement during the initial stages of excavation and
gradually became a deep inward type movement as depth of
excavation increased. SI-3 and SI-4 had cantilever-type
movement for all excavation stages.
Figure 5b depicts the latitudinal soil deformations, in
which the deformation direction is parallel to the wall. This
figure reveals that SI-1 deformed toward the west. SI-2 had a
deep inward latitudinal movement, as in the longitudinal direction. For SI-2, the ratio of the maximum latitudinal deflection to the longitudinal deflection is approximately 26.3
34.4%. SI-3 and SI-4 had cantilever-type movement and had
larger movement than either SI-1 or I-1. These measurements show that this section might not be in a plane strain
condition. The soil moved not only toward the north (i.e., the
excavation) but also toward the west (i.e., the center of the
excavation). This behavior became more apparent as the excavation depth increased. I-1 had only a slight latitudinal deformation due to the high stiffness of the wall.
Ground surface settlement
Figure 6 displays the ground surface settlement observed
at a section 30 m west of the southeast corner. This figure
reveals that the maximum ground surface settlement is
7.8 cm, occurring 11 m away from the wall. The ratio of the
maximum ground surface settlement ( vm) to maximum wall
deflection ( hm) for the excavation after stage 3, at which
the wall had deep inward movement, is around 0.670.75.
This range agrees with the observations of Clough and
ORourke (1990) and Ou et al. (1993).
Figure 7 presents the ground surface settlement profiles
for the sections at various distances from the southeast
corner. Figure 8 depicts the contours of the settlement outside the excavation at the final stage of excavation. Both figures reveal that the settlement generally decreased with
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Fig. 6. Ground surface settlement at a section 30 m west of the southeastern corner.

Fig. 7. Ground surface settlement at various sections at the last three stages of excavation.

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Fig. 8. Contours (in cm) of the ground surface settlement at the final stage of excavation.

decreasing distance from the corner. This is probably due to


the arching effect of the corner. The angular distortion for
the sections greater than 12 m from the corner are generally
larger than 1/300, which may damage buildings adjacent to
the excavation (Bjerrum 1963). The soil inside the 12 m
zone settled a maximum of 2.83.2 cm and had a maximum
angular distortion around 1/600, which may not cause damage. Therefore, the excavation center to a distance 12 m
from the corner can be treated as zone of influence for potential damage due to settlement and angular distortion.
Figure 8 also implies that the settlement profile at the section 30 m west of the southeast corner was in a plane strain
condition. Both Figs. 7 and 8 indicate that the location of the
maximum ground surface settlement tended to shift toward
the wall with decreasing distance to the southeast corner.
The magnitude of the maximum ground surface settlement
decreased with decreasing distance to the southeast corner.
The observed ground surface settlements for some representative sections are compared in Fig. 9 with the settlements
computed from the method proposed by Clough and ORourke
(1990). As this figure shows, the method of Clough and
ORourke can envelope the settlement profile within a distance not greater than two times the excavation depth for
most of the sections, i.e., plane strain and non-plane strain
sections. However, the method does not predict settlement at
distances greater than two times the excavation depth.

Finite element analysis


Previous studies indicate that the wall near the corner experiences three-dimensional behavior due to the arching effect (Ou et al. 1996a, 1996b; Lee et al. 1998). Plane strain
analysis normally yields conservative results, but a threedimensional analysis can realistically predict the actual excavation behavior. For the TNEC case history, the wall deformations at I-1 and I-3 may be influenced by the corners
because they are only located 21 and 31 m away from the

southeast and southwest corners, respectively. To further examine the excavation behavior, the TNEC excavation was
analyzed using the program CUT3D. This program has previously been verified through several other case histories
(Ou et al. 1996a, 1996b; Ou and Shiau 1998).
In the analysis, the soil is simulated by the hyperbolic
model, as proposed by Duncan and Chang (1970), which
considers the nonlinear, inelastic, and strain-dependent behaviors of the soil. For the hyperbolic model, seven parameters are required to fully describe the stressstrain behavior
of the soil. These are cohesion (c), friction angle (), stiffness modulus number for primary loading (K), stiffness
modulus exponent (n), stiffness modulus number for unloadingreloading (Kur), failure ratio (Rf), and Poissons ratio
(t).
Table 1 lists the soil parameters used in the analysis. The
strength parameters (c, ) were obtained directly from laboratory tests. For cohesive soil, the Youngs modulus was estimated on the basis of the plasticity index and
overconsolidation ratio (Chang and Abas 1980; Ou and Lai
1994). The stiffness modulus number for cohesionless soil
was estimated on the basis of the method suggested by Ou
and Lai (1994) as follows:
[1]

K=

2 Pa
V 2s (1 + )
Pa P

where
is the density of the soil;
Pa is the atmospheric pressure;
P is the mean effective stress;
is a reduction factor, equal to 0.5 for most of
excavation cases (Ou and Lai 1994);
Vs is the shear wave velocity = 93.11(N + 1)0.33
(Wu 1990); and
N is the standard penetration resistance.
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Fig. 9. Comparison of observed ground surface settlements with values computed using the method proposed by Clough and ORourke
(1990). d, distance to the southeast corner.

Table 1. Soil parameters used in the analysis.


(a) Drained material
Layer No.

Depth (m)

t (kN/m3)

c (kPa)

()

Rf

Kur

2
4
5

5.68.0
33.637.5
37.546.0

18.93
19.33
19.62

0
0
0

31
31
32

0.6
0.6
0.6

800
1820
800

800
1820
800

0.5
0.5
0.5

0.3
0.3
0.3

0.49
0.49
0.49

t (kN/m3)
18.25
18.15

Su (kPa)
300.3 v
0.36 v

Rf
0.9
0.9

Eui/Su
650
740

Eur/Su
650
740

t
0.48
0.48

f
0.49
0.49

(b) Undrained material


Layer No.
1
3

Depth (m)
0.05.6
8.033.0

The retaining wall, struts, and concrete floor slabs are assumed to behave as linearelastic materials. The Youngs
modulus of the diaphragm wall used in the analysis was
12 106 kPa and the Poissons ratio was assumed to be 0.2.
The axial stiffness of the 150 mm thick concrete floor slab
was 1 118 376 kN/(m/m). The axial stiffness of the first
(stage 2) and second (stages 6B and 7) temporary steel
struts, based on the strut spacing and type, was 7482 and
32 148 kN/(m/m), respectively.
For simplicity, a quarter of the site, idealized as a rectangle 105 m 41 m, was modelled. Figure 10 shows the threedimensional finite element mesh used for the analysis, in
which the base is supported with hinges and the vertical
boundary at the symmetric axis is supported with rollers.
The vertical boundary outside the excavation zone is allocated with infinite elements, as suggested by Marques and
Owen (1984), at a distance of 60 m from the wall. This was
necessary to obtain convergent results for wall deflection
and ground surface settlement (Ou and Shiau 1998). The

analysis is performed following the actual excavation sequence, according to Fig. 3 and as described previously.
The observed and computed wall deflections at I-1, I-2,
and I-3 for excavation stages 6A, 6B, and 7 are compared in
Fig. 11. The computed wall deflections at I-2 and I-3 are
close to the observed deflections. The computed wall deflections at I-1 are smaller than those at I-2 and I-3 at all stages
because the distance of I-1 to the nearest corner is less than
that for I-2 and I-3. Figure 11 also shows that the computed
wall deflections at I-1 are smaller than the observed deflections for all stages.
In Fig. 12 the observed ground surface settlements are
compared with computed settlements for the final stage at
various sections, i.e., 0, 6, 18, and 30 m from the southeast
corner. The computed ground surface settlement for each
section is slightly smaller than the observed settlement. The
computed wall deflections at those sections are also displayed in Fig. 12. As this figure shows, the computed wall
deflection generally decreases with an decreasing distance
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Fig. 10. Finite element mesh for the TNEC excavation project.

Fig. 11. Comparison of the observed and computed wall deflections at the last three stages of excavation for I-1, I-2, and I-3.

from the corner. The computed and observed ground surface


settlements also exhibit a similar behavior.

Effect of zoned excavation


Conceptually, zoned excavation may cause less wall deflection and ground surface settlement. This can be explained by the fact that wall deflection and ground surface
settlement should be affected by the corner if the wall length

along each zone is small. Wall deflection and ground surface


settlement in unzoned excavation are relatively close to
those of the plain strain condition. Wall deflection and
ground surface settlement using zoned excavation are thus
less than those using unzoned excavation. For the TNEC
case history, the lengths of the southern wall in the central
zone and side zones are equal to 32 and 37 m, respectively.
Under such circumstances, the wall deformation may be
reduced using zoned excavation. On the other hand, zoned
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Fig. 12. Comparison of the observed and computed ground surface settlements at some representative sections and corresponding computed wall displacements.

Fig. 13. Comparison of wall displacements from analyses of zoned and unzoned excavations.

excavation usually costs more because additional excavation


stages are required.
To study the effect of zoned excavation on the deformation
behavior, two types of three-dimensional analysis, zoned and
unzoned (i.e., normal condition), were performed. The excavation sequence employed in the TNEC case history is

termed the zoned excavation, in which zoned excavation


commences after the completion of 15.2 m excavation (stage
6A). Unzoned excavation is excavation with the soil removed all at once in each stage. Figure 13 shows the wall
deflections at I-1 and I-2 computed from two different analyses for stages 6B and 7. According to this figure, zoned
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excavation causes less wall deflection than unzoned excavation. However, the difference between zoned and unzoned
excavations appears to be insignificant.

Conclusions
The following conclusions can be made on the basis of
the work presented herein:
(1) The soil not in the center of the site has the tendency
to move toward the excavation center. The tendency increases with increasing depth of excavation. Based on the
field observations, the soil in the section 21 m west of the
southeast corner may not be treated as a plane strain condition because a significant amount of latitudinal deflection
was observed. However, the wall in the same section may be
considered as in the plane strain condition due to the insignificant latitudinal deflection that occurred in the plane of
the wall. This may be due to the fact that the wall has much
larger latitudinal stiffness than the soil.
(2) The wall deformation and ground surface settlement in
the plane strain section and in the non-plane strain section
can be reasonably predicted using three-dimensional finite
element analyses commonly used in engineering practice.
Plane strain analysis normally yields conservative results for
the sections affected by the corner. The method of Clough
and ORourke (1990) envelopes the settlement profile within
distances of two times the excavation depth for most of the
sections, i.e., plane strain and non-plane strain sections.
However, the method does not predict settlement at distances
greater than two times the excavation depth.
(3) Zoned excavation, commencing near the final stage,
results in less wall deflection than unzoned excavation, but
the difference appears to be insignificant for the case record
described herein.

References
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with the 1980 ASCE Annual Convention, Hollywood, Fla.,
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2000 NRC Canada

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