A finite element (FE) based soil-structure interaction (SSI) model is presented and parallelized for applications on distributed systems. The SSI model is established by combining two methods: the Consistent Infinitesimal FE Cell Method (also referred to as 'the scaled boundary-finite element method') proposed by Wolf and Song (Finite-element modelling of unbounded media, Wiley, England, 1996) for modelling the soil region extending to infinity (far-field), and the standard FE for the finite region (near-field) and the structure. By using this combined model, a computer program for harmonic and transient analyses of soil-structure systems is coded. The model is investigated by solving various example problems existing in the literature. The results of the model agree with the results presented in the literature for selected problems, The advantages of the model are demonstrated through these comparisons. In order to decrease the computation time and achieve the solution of large-scale problems, the model is parallelized. As a result of this parallel solution, significant time is saved for large-scale problems. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.