Publication Abstract

Proceedings of the 36th Annual Conference on Deep Foundations, 2011, Boston, MA, USA, (DFI)

2011 Student Paper Competition Runner-Up: Design of Piles with the Dual Role of Structural Stability and as a Sustainable Source of Energy for the Heating and Cooling of Buildings
Alice DiDonna

The heating and cooling of buildings worldwide represent a large amount of a country’s energy needs and are major sources of CO2. Therefore, decreasing the environmental impact of residential and office buildings is of crucial importance. Energy pile foundations are a sustainable solution to this problem and constitute a local, renewable and environmentally friendly resource. They are also in accordance with current energy policies. A system of pipes installed within the concrete with a heat carrier fluid that circulates through it can extract heat from the ground to satisfy the need for heat during the winter and expel excess heat resulting from air conditioning during the summer. Consequently, the foundation is subjected to a thermal load, which results in additional stresses and strains that must be considered in the design process. Despite the fast spread of this technology in the last decade, there is still a lack of knowledge about the thermo-mechanical behavior of energy pile foundations. Consequently, design approaches and guidelines are limited. Here, a new geotechnical method for the design of energy piles is illustrated based on the quantification of the additional thermal effects that appear inside the foundations. The method is based on the load-transfer curves approach and has been implemented into a numerical tool called ThermoPile. The software is presented and validated through a developed analytical solution and the results are compared with real in situ experimental tests.

 article #1812; publication #95 (AM-2011)