The Sustainability Committee will focus its activities for 2013 on a few key projects. Of great importance is the dissemination of the understanding of sustainability by the various DFI Technical Committees. The Committee will increase its effort to expand knowledge and awareness of sustainable aspects of deep foundations technologies and practices. If we still feel that working on our understanding of the challenges and opportunities of sustainability is necessary, the move towards more sustainable practices also requires practical cases and operational tools to support actors of the deep foundation sector in their own efforts.
Through the 2012 and 2013 DFI Committee Project Fund, DFI is supporting the development of such an operational tool, the EFFC-DFI European Carbon Calculator. This tool was developed by the European Federation of Foundation Contractors, and the first version will be made available this year. The calculator is a specific operational tool that aims eventually at giving the opportunity to foundation contractors to evaluate the carbon footprint of the technical solutions proposed on a project, as well as to compare the carbon added value of different solutions. This project-based tool has been developed for Europe by a task force composed of representatives of several foundation companies, and is in a format that will also be adapted to the North American context. The tool may potentially be extendable to other geographical areas in a later stage. Because knowing our impacts is a preliminary step to reducing them, we encourage the DFI members to use the calculator as soon as it is released, and make it their own. Technologies included in the Phase 1 calculator are bored piles (drilled shafts), micropiles, diaphragm walls, slurry walls, sheet pile walls, anchors, grouting and soil mixing. The calculator allows for standardized comparison between different foundation technologies and variations of quantities and materials for specific foundation solutions. Phase 2 will extend the calculator to stone columns, displacement piles, bored pile walls, vibro compaction, jet grouting, soil nails, soldier pile walls, dynamic compaction, dewatering, underpinning, and horizontal drilling. This phase will also include an initial training session and the development of a communication strategy to bring the calculation tool to the attention of leading bodies in the field of carbon measurement (e.g., LEED, BREEAM, The Green Building Council, CEEQUAL, and ADEME), and to the European Union.
The Committee is also supporting the work of geothermal foundation researchers at their 3-day workshop in Lausanne (EPFL, Switzerland) in March 2013. Findings and recommendations from this workshop will be synthesized and published.