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Building in permafrost

Building in permafrost

Building in permafrost

I have a potential project in a permafrost area. I have little info known yet on the site. We would like to have an underground concrete bunker for equipment. Customer has fear of installing an underground bunker due to chance of uplift of the bunker. An idea I have that I wanted to get some feedback is as follows: Could we counter act the buoyant forces that could happen if the ground thaws by basically weighing the bunker down with a thick floor slab?

In addition I would be utilizing insulation under the foundation to help prevent heat transfer to the soil, along with a thick gravel base.

RE: Building in permafrost

They taught me all that stuff when I got my Alaska P.E.

RE: Building in permafrost

Talk to a firm/engineer that works in Alaska, Canada, or some other frozen area. Don't try and figure it out yourself.

Mike Lambert

RE: Building in permafrost

My understanding is that you should be very careful when you try to build into permafrost. Any heat produced by habitation, the building and any other processes will cause the permafrost to start melting and moving. They actually install refrigeration systems on the outside around the foundation to counteract this warming and to control the permafrost. You can see parts of the refrig. system (cooling fins) on the tops of found. pilings on pipe lines, where the pipeline is actually elevated above the ground. But, still the heat of the oil apparently causes problems with the permafrost. They actually go out of their way not to disturb the top couple feet of soil which might be covering the permafrost so as not to disturb the natural equilibrium. What I’ve seen and read about most often is to elevate the bldg., sometimes on a gravel bed (platform) 3, 4' thick, above the normal ground level. Then they still insulate the underside of the slab, or fl. system, to minimize any heat radiation toward the permafrost. I would agree with the idea that you should probably involve someone, an engineer, who knows what they are doing w.r.t. permafrost.

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