In Ihis paper, the large-scalc consolidation apparatus was employed to investi gate the performance of vacuum prelollding with conventional surcharge loading. Several tests were conducted \0 examine the efTect of a vacuum and associ(lled paTHlllclers Slich as smC:!T zone and soil permeability characteristics. The measured settlement and excess pore pressure indi cates that the vacuum application has certain benefits to control excess pore pressure for a given total loading applictlti on. The analyticn l modelling for rad ial consolidation and vacuum prcloading considering both variation of soil comprcssibility and perrneability was cmployed to predict the soil consolidation behaviour. It is shown that the analytical model can reasonably capture the laboratory behaviour.