Due to the worldwide process of quick urbanization, there is a growing demand for the utilization of underground space for various purposes. Different innovative uses for underground space create challenges for researchers, designers and contractors. One such unique tunneling project is the construction of an underground burial site in Jerusalem. In this project, a layout of large caverns was planned. Along the cavern sidewalls, an array of drilled holes with a 75cm diameter and depth of 230 cm was to be designed. This created a dual-scale problem, which had to be given special consideration during the prefeasibility project assessment and latter design stages. Accordingly, two separate sets of numerical models were used for assessing the overall stability of the caverns with the perforated walls, and the stability of the drilled holes within the cavern walls. For the latter, weaker rock mass properties were assumed due to the localized effects of rock joints cutting through the intact zones between holes. Currently, the project is in its final stages of excavation. A review of the challenges during the construction stage is given, and the validity of the initial assumptions is discussed by adding a hybrid Finite-Discrete Element modeling (FDEM) approach to investigate the stability of the burial holes.

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