District Heating Tunnel

Deformation due to shield tunnelling

Hamburg-Moorburg to Altona


  • Client:
    Vattenfall Europe Hamburg AG
  • Length: c. 12 km
  • Shield tunnelling:
    outer diameter c. 4.20 m
  • Deformation calculations regarding existing buildings
    - Kattwykbrücke
    - Rethe-Brücke
    - Dock Elbe 17
    - Alter Elbtunnel
    - Elbnordhang
  • Processing time:
    2007 - 2009
  • Our scope:
    expert report along with deformation calculations

Heating for the city.

The planned district heating tunnel will run from Moorburg Power Station to the pumping station in Haferweg in Altona-Nord. It was necessary to investigate the influences of the tunnel construction on existing and planned structures along its entire length of c. 12 km.

The tunnel is to be constructed by shield tunnelling with a fluid-supported working face. The shield tunnelling will be executed with a overcut of up to 3.5 cm. The resulting gap between soil and shield skin will be filled with supporting fluid and compressed with mortar after assembly of the tunnel rings.

Investigations were carried out into the influences of deformation and subsidence caused by tunnel construction on all the affected structures. These included the Kattwyk Bridge, the Rethe Bridge, Dock Elbe 17, the old Elbe tunnel and structures on the north bank of the Elbe. The deformation calculations were conducted with our own FEM programme BIN-GEO, developed in-house, using a non-linear material model.

The results show that, in all areas, deformations caused by the new tunnel construction do not lead to any unacceptable subsidence or misalignment in the existing structures. It is thus possible to safely exclude the possibility of any threats to their stability and fitness for use. 

Keeping the port on track.

Predöhl Quay, Berth 3

Deformation calculations


Berths for giants.

Harbour Expansion

New Building of Berths

Hamburg Altenwerder

SUSE, lead the way.

Shield Machines

S-738, 746 - Constructional testing

Filder Tunnel, Stuttgart 21

Soil calculations.