Impact of modeling architectural detailing for predicting unreinforced masonry response to subsidence

Linh Truong-Hong, Debra F. Laefer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In tunneling, attempts at using remote sensing as a less expensive alternative to traditional surveying for creating computational models of masonry buildings for better damage prediction raise fundamental questions as to the necessary data quality, as there is a direct relationship between quality and acquisition costs. To understand the implications of such choices, 16 finite element models were devised to investigate the impact of window shape, brick orientation, window size, and the presence of lintels. Responses were considered with respect to gravity loads and excavation-induced subsidence. Permutations of three common window shapes were modeled as representative of Georgian brick structures. The base model was benchmarked against large-scale experimental work using non-linear analysis. This study proves that a few simple assumptions can be used in reducing the complexity of building façades for computation without generating major errors in structural response prediction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)191-204
Number of pages14
JournalAutomation in Construction
StatePublished - Mar 2013


  • Brickwork
  • Computational modeling
  • Excavation
  • Finite element
  • LiDAR
  • Masonry
  • Settlement
  • Subsidence
  • Terrestrial laser scanning
  • Windows

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction


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