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Case Studies

Old War Office

Protecting heritage with advanced analysis

Old War Office

The ambitious endeavour of excavating a deep basement to optimise development space posed a formidable challenge, particularly in the context of preserving the Grade II* Listed Façade of the Old War Office building in Whitehall, London. The profound risk of local ground movements and potential devastation to the historic façade necessitated a meticulous approach.

To address this intricate challenge, a detailed 3D Finite Element Analysis (FEA) was undertaken. This analysis, incorporating advanced non-linear soil models, allowed for a comprehensive evaluation of the complex, phased basement construction sequence. The adaptability of the construction sequence became paramount in ensuring that the priceless façade of the Old War Office building remained unscathed throughout the evacuation process.

The sophisticated FEA not only provided insights into potential ground movements but also offered a platform for optimising the construction sequence to minimise any adverse impacts on the historic structure. By leveraging advanced technology and analytical models, the project successfully navigated the delicate balance between development aspirations and heritage preservation, showcasing the power of engineering ingenuity in safeguarding architectural treasures.


  • Ground movement analysis for top-down and bottom-up construction options. 

  • Tensile force prediction in basement piles due to heave and groundwater pressures.  

  • Heave pressure prediction for basement floor design.

  • Development space on this prime site was maximised. 

  • Permanent basement dewatering measures investigated. 

  • Read this case study to discover how FEA was used to predict ground settlement in the construction of another ambitious project. 

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