Foundations

A building’s foundation must be carefully engineered to support the weight of the structure.  In cold climates, foundations are susceptible to heat loss and damage related to surrounding soil conditions.  The Cold Climate Housing Research Center has a variety of publications and other information on cold climate foundations.    

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Projects

Permafrost Foundations CCHRC is working with the U.S. Army Cold Regions Research and Engineering Laboratory to study ways of pairing information on permafrost soils with optimal foundation designs.
Frost-Protected Shallow Foundation Study Frost-protected shallow foundations rely on placing enough insulation outside of a shallow foundation to protect it from heaving due to seasonal freezing. Temperature sensors were installed at two houses with these foundations to measure the thermal regime of the soil.
Permafrost Technology Foundation Library The Permafrost Technology Foundation produced design manuals and videos created to explain what permafrost is and where it occurs, how to conduct a thorough permafrost site investigation, and techniques for building new structures and stabilizing existing structures on permafrost.
Vapor Diffusion-Open Walls Study CCHRC monitored builder Thorsten Chlupp’s super low-energy home to see how the innovative systems performed in the Fairbanks climate. The house has super-insulated walls and foundation, an integrated heat storage system, and an open wall design that allows vapor to diffuse through.
Anchorage Foundation Insulation Study Read the full report