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A New Construction Method for a Metro Station

in Beijing

W. Liu, F. Luo and J. Mei

Abstract -This paper introduces a new construction practice, termed as the tunnel-column method, used
in constructing a metro station in Beijing, China. The station is located just under the western side of
Tian’anmen Square. A numerical analysis was performed for the new method before the construction. The
numerical prediction agreed well with in situ measurements, the ground movement induced by excavation
was well controlled. The experience of this project is valuable to the similar problems of large-scale
underground excavation in urban areas. 0 2001 Published by Eleevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

Background in Figure 2. The station has a total length of about 227 m

and width of 24 m with a height of 14 m (Fig. 3). This type
he metro in Beijing, including Line A and Line B, is
of structure normally would be excavated by the cut-and-
a total of 55 km in length. Line B has been open to
the public since June 2000. Among the 23 stations cover method.
on Line B is the West-Tian’anmen Station, (shown in Fig. However, because the location of the station was very
l), which lies just under the southwestern side of the sensitive to the surrounding environment, the choice of the
Tian’anmen Square. The soil cover above the station crown construction method carried a high risk. In comparison to
is 6.2 m and there are numerous existing utility pipes many other types of cut-and-cover techniques, the tunnel-
passing above the tunnel. Chang’an Street, which is also ling method selected was the only possible choice, as it
well known for its heavy traffic, is directly above the
station, in the same direction as the station centerline.
To meet the requirements for the heavy passenger flow, Present address: Weining Liu, Research Center of Tunnelling and
the station was designed to be a two-story structure with Underground Works, Northern Jiaotmg University, Beijing, 100044,
a center platform. On completion, the station is a typical P.R. China; Fu-rong Luo and Ji-an Mei, Tunnel Engineering
Bureau of Railway Ministry, Luoyang, 471000, P.R. China.
three-arch structure supported by two columns, as shown

Figure 1. The metro lines of Beijing and the location of West-Tiananmen Square.

!lbMeuing and Udrgfuund spoor lkhndsw, Vol. 16, No. 4, pp. 409-413.2ooo
088577SQW $ -sea fmnt matter 0 2001 Published by Elsnvier Science Ltd. Pergamon
PII: soa8lw7wo1xlaoo95
support to the piles and columns. Under the protection of
this temporary structure, a normal top-down excavation
technique could be carried out. This procedure is shown in
detail in Figure 4.
The advantages of this method can be summarized as
1. By making the shoring pile wall and the center col-
umns structure ofthe station in the pilot tunnel, there
is no disturbance to the ground surface, in comparison
to the cut-and-cover method.
2. Under the protection of the initial arch support struc-
ture based on the piles and the center columns, the
normal top-down or bottom-up technique can be car-
ried out, which is more favorable to the quality of the
Figure 2. West-Tiananmen Metro Station.
station structure than the multi-section tunnelling
This approach has advantages in terms of environmen-
creates little disturbance above ground and affects the
tal safety and structural stability for large-scale under-
pipelines less.
ground excavations in loose soil. In order to make sure that
The geological condition of the ground is typically allu-
this method was effective, the whole construction proce-
vium consisting of backfill to sandy soil, fine sand, clayey
dure was simulated by a finite element numerical model
soil and gravel soil. The structure ofthe soil layer is shown
before construction began. The prediction of ground settle-
in Figure 3. The ground water is 13.10-16.20 m below the
ment played a very important role in guiding the construc-
surface and relatively stable.
tion procedure and ground monitors.

Procedures of the New Construction Method

FEM Prediction and In-situ Measurement
Although the tunnelling method was eventually chosen
Ground Parameters of Analysis
in order to meet the requirements regarding the ground
movement and protection ofthe pipes above the station, too According to experience in Beijing soil, the ground
much of the span of the station was still in loose soil to be parameters had been obtained through many case histo-
constructed by the normal tunnelling method. It was evi- ries and by back analysis. The data in Table 1 are the
dent that multi-section excavation would have to be em- ground calculation parameters adopted in the model. The
ployed. But there would be too much demolition work for FEM model of analysis is shown in Figure 5.
the normal multi-section tunnelling method, which would
bring a significant extra cost. Simulation of Pilot Tunnels Excavation
Based on the cut-and-cover principle, a new excavation
In the analysis of pilot tunnel excavation, two possible
technique was developed for the station construction. This
schemes were simulated. One option was that all these
combination of the tunneling and the cut-and-cover top
eight tunnels would be excavated by the sequence num-
down method, is referred to as the “tunnel-column” method.
bered in Figure 6. The other option was a tunnel excavated
The process is described below.
by two rows, as shown in Figure 7.
First, two rows of small pilot tunnels, four at the top and
The settlement on the ground surface to 2.63 m and 4.56
four at the bottom line of the station (Fig. 4), were exca-
m below the surface were all predicted in the model. Figures
vated. Then rows of vertical holes in each top tunnel, with
8 and 9 show only the surface settlement of different
different intervals down to the bottom tunnels, were cut.
excavation steps for two possible schemes, respectively.
The intervals of vertical holes in the two side tunnels were
According to the modeling, the main points related to
designed to meet the needs of piles of shoring wall and
the settlement can be summarized as follows:
which, in the middle tunnels, were just for the station
columns. Afterwards, concrete base
beams for the side piles and columns
through each bottom tunnel were made
inside. Then reinforced concrete piles 77777

and station structure columns could be

made in thevertical holes. The top beams
above the side piles and center columns w \d
were placed afterwards. sandysoil
The next step was the key to the
successful construction of the station. Light clay
Three top drifts were excavated between
Fine sand
the top pilot tunnels. Steel rib arches
with shotcrete then were installed and
were supported by the side pile wall and
middle columns. This arrangement
formed an integral initial structure of
f GlIIV4

the station; it served as a “shell” to pro-

tect the excavation works inside and
created a part of the station structure
which did not need to be demolished. J I L I

Because the side piles and middle col- 23.6m LishtClaY

umns would bear the load from the arch
in both vertical and horizontal direction
in this case, it was believed that the soil
around the piles could provide sufficient Figure 3. The cross-section of the station and its ground properties.

SPACETECHNOLOGY Volume 15, Number 4,200O
1. The mound settlement curve would
be n&-symmetrical in the proce-
dure of pilot tunnel excavation for
Construction program Explanation
the scheme in Figure 8, but at last
the settlement curve would come
to be symmetric for both schemes.
2. The maximum settlement induced rllr
by the scheme in Figure 8 would be Pilot tuned excavation
smaller than that shown in Figure
9 because the area of excavation
disturbance in the eight-step exca-
l mmrn
vation would likely be less than
that of in a two-step excavation. l.Vutical hole in twmels
3. When the eight-pilot tunnel exca-
vation was completed, the maxi- 2.Cumxetebeamoftopandbottom
mum settlement of the ground 3.Piles and columns
would likely be approximately: Hz!z 1.
l 26 mm at the surface of the
l 27 mm at depth of -2.63 m; l.Temporarysteelbarlinks
l 29 mm at depth of -4.58 m.

These were all within the limits of
settlement allowance. constructioI1

Simulation of Top Drift and Arch

After the completion of the pilot tun-
nels and the pile-wall-column structure, 1.c4xumm excavation and lining
three top drifts are excavated between 2Mezzanine slab cowtruction
the top pilot tunnels. Then steel rib
arches with shotcrete are installed, 3.Boarding area excavation and
based on using the side pile wall and the
middle columns as initial support. The lining
three top arches, with a span of8m, will
transmit the coverage ground load to
the pile wall and center columns.
There are two possible options for
excavating the top drifts. One was to 1.Invert slab and lining
begin from two side top drifts and then
the middle drift. The other was to begin 2.Architecturaltreatment
from the middle drift and then the side.
It is unadvisable to excavate the three
top drifts at the same time because the
soil surrounding the columns could not
provide sufficient support to the col-
F‘igure 4. Procedures of the tunnel-column method.
umns. In order to select the better op-
tion and to estimate the disturbance to
the ground, numerical predictions of
the ground settlement were also made for the top drift The maximum ground settlements for both options are
excavation. The surface settlement results are shown in summarized in Table 2.
Figures 10 and 11 for the two options, respectively. According to the above analysis, the ground settlement
The pilot tunnel excavation was supposed to be the two- induced by excavation of the pilot tunnel was in the range
step scheme. It was evident that the ground surface sub- oflimitation (less than 30 mm). But maximum settlement in
sided sharply when the top drifts were excavated. The the surface induced by the top drift construction would be up
subsidence in Figure 10 was less than that in Figure 11. to 45 mm. In the pipeline level, it would be up to 55 mm,
which was impossible for the pressure gas pipe to bear.

Table 1. Parameters of FEM model.

Gravity Young’s modulus Cohesion

Name of Layer (KNlm’) (MPa) Poisson’s ratio WPa) Friction angle

Backfill 19.0 27.00 0.30 0.025 20.5

Sandy soil 19.4 38.00 0.29 0.001 30.0

Gravel soil 19.6 50.00 0.29 0.006 32.5

Clay soil 19.0 40.00 0.30 0.025 20.5


Therefore, special measures need to be
taken in this stage.
The numerical analysis showed that
the large ground settlement was caused
by large transverse deformation at the
top of columns, as the soil surrounding
the columns could not provide sufficient
support. Therefore, a better choice is to
install level steel bars at the top of
columns at intervals of 1.5 m to form a
frame structure in the center columns
and the pile wall. Also, before the top
drift construction, ground treatment
should be carried out.

In-situ measurement and

comparison with FEM prediction
In order to ensure the ground settle-
Figure 5. FEM model of tunnel-column method.
ment within the prescribed limit, a se-
ries of in-situ measurement were taken

Figure 6. Eight-step excavation: pilot tunnels excavated in Figure 7. Two-step excavation: pilot tunnels excavated
the numbered order. from bottom row to top row.

step 1
3 . -5 -
step 2
step 3
step I
j -lO- step 5
step 6
Q -15 . step 7
3 step 8
s -2c
v1' .._
,,.,.,.,.,.,.,- -28J, , , ., ., ., , .
-30 -20 -10 0 10 20 30 (d -30 -20 -10 0 10 20 30 (I)

Figure 8. Settlement curve of eight-step excavation. Figure 9. Settlement curve of two-step excavation.


-30 -20 -10

Figure 10. Side arch first.

0 10 20 30 cd

__ . step2


Figure 11. Middle arch first.

... ’

Top Arch


n -5
? -lO- a
w w -10 I
2 -15-
3 -15-
3 -2o-
1 -20:
t: -25- g -25-
-3o- m -3o-
h,.,.,.,.,. I - I’
4, ., ., ., ., ., ., 1

-30 -20 -10 0 10 20 30 (m) -30 -20 -10 0 10 20 30 (m)

Figure 12. Section No. 1 (B 187~03). Figure 13. Section No. 2 (B+186+13).

l----_a 01
-1 d n-l

3 -2o-

c1 -25.
2 -25
g -30. i-3
$ -35. 3 -3
z -4o- Q)-4
m m

-a- -30 -20 -10 0 10 20 30 60)

-4 1
( .,



., s
30 (m)

Figure 14. Section No. 1 (B 187+03). Figure 15. Section No. 2 (B+186+13).

out during the period of construction

Table 2. Ground settlement in the stage of top drift excavation.
from April 1995 to December 1997.
Figures 12 and 13 show the mea- Location Side arch first Middle arch first
surement results in two main monitor-
ing sections during the pilot tunnel con-
Surface 43mm 45mm
struction and compared with the FEM
For the pilot tunnel construction, it -2.63m below surface 46mm 48mm
was shown from the measurement in
both sections that the maximum settle- -4.58m below surface 51mm 55mm
ment in the centerline of the station
was about 29 mm, while the prediction Location of maximum Up point of the Up point of the
was about 26 mm. settlement side arch open first middle arch
Figures 14 and 15 show the mea-
surements in two sections during the
stage of the top drift construction com-
pared with that of the FEM predictions.
methods. In this situation, the tunnel-column method was
At the stage of the top drift construction, the measure-
adopted to avoid disturbance to the ground surface and to
ments of the maximum settlements of the surface shown in
limit the ground settlement successfully. FEM modeling
Figures 14 and 15 were about 39 mm in both monitoring
was performed for the selection of excavation schemes. The
sections; these settlements were smaller than those pre-
ground movements were monitored. The experience on this
dieted. It was obvious that the installation of level steel bar
project is valuable for solving similar problems of large-
links between piles and columns, as well as the ground
scale un’derground excavation in urban areas.
treatment, has effectively limited the ground movement. By
this measure, the stage of top arch construction was suc-
cessfully completed without any accidents. References
Liu, Weining. 1995. FEM analysis of Tian’anmen Metro Station,
Conclusion Technical Report, Dept. ofCivil Engineering, Northern Jiaotong
University, Beijing, P.R. China.
Because of its special location and difficult ground condi- Luo, Furong. 1995. “Measurement of Tian’anmen Metro Station
tions, the West-Tian’anmen Metro Station requires special Construction.“TechnicalReport,TunnelEngineeringBureau of
ground control, which affects the choice of construction Railway Ministry, 411997112.

Volume 15, Number 4,200O TUNNELLING