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Tag: Foundations--Design and construction
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  • Improving Design Methodologies and Assessment Tools for Building on Permafrost in a Warming Climate

    Abstract: The U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) operates numerous Arctic and Subarctic installations, including Alaska. Changes to permafrost can threaten critical built infrastructure. It is critical to accurately characterize and compare site conditions in permafrost regions to enable the efficient, cost-effective design and construction of an infrastructure well suited to the permafrost environment and that meets DoD requirements. This report describes three research efforts to establish (1) field investigation approaches for ground ice detection and delineation, (2) methods and modeling for early warning detection of thawing permafrost under infrastructure, and (3) an outline of a decision support system that determines the most applicable foundation design for warming and degrading permafrost. Outcomes of these interrelated efforts address needs to improve construction of DoD mission critical infrastructure on Arctic and Subarctic permafrost terrains. Field investigation processes used systematic methodologies including borehole data and geophysical measurements to effectively characterize subsurface permafrost information. The Permafrost Foundation Decision Support System (PFFDSS) tool implements and logically links field survey information and foundation type assessments. The current version of PFFDSS is designed to be accessible to design-engineers of a broad range of experience, that will reduce the effort and cost, and improve the effectiveness of site assessment.