A coupled FE-BE method for modelling the dynamic interaction of some important structural elements of buildings resting on a viscoelastic 3-D halfspace is presented. A displacement-based continuum approach is adopted for the structure and on this basis, a discrete model is derived by using a hierarchical finite element formulation. The frequency-domain boundary element method is used to represent the 3-D halfspace. The set of equations governing the response of the coupled soil-structure system to harmonic loads acting on the structure is given. A remarkable shift of the resonance frequencies, with respect to a structure with a clamped lower end, is observed. The effects of radiation and material damping are shown for different soil materials and different characteristics of the structure
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