Neighbouring buildings, even though disconnected from the structural viewpoint, may interact through the underlying soil especially when they are founded on very soft soils. Despite some pioneering studies since the early 1970's, structure-soil-structure interaction has yet to be further investigated to reveal the effects that could be exerted on both the static and dynamic response of nearby structures. The present work aims at expanding the theoretical knowledge on this phenomenon through an extensive parametric study based on a truly 3D continuum approach solved through the Flac3D finite difference software. The impedance functions of two closely-spaced shallow foundations have been numerically calculated by varying the distance between the nearby footings and the subsoil configuration (homogeneous or layered). The numerical results have elucidated important effects of cross interaction between two neighbouring foundations. The static stiffness reduces, and this effect is increasingly significant as the foundations are closer whatever the subsoil conditions are. The dynamic coefficients increase with respect to those corresponding to the single footing over halfspace. Such effect is less important for the layer-over-halfspace soil configuration, for which the dynamic coefficients are mainly affected by the frequency response of the stratum. Finally, in the realm of the sub-structure approach, a novel simplified design approach, based on group factors for closely-spaced shallow foundations, was proposed to compute the soil-foundation impedance matrix englobing the foundation-foundation interaction in addition to the soil-foundation interaction.
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