state, piles or thermopiles are the best option,
“One wouldn’t want to bury the landscape
surrounding the structure under a gravel
pad if that is the driving force of the design,”
Henricks says. “Residential related projects may
often want to take this approach or eco-tourism
lodges and the like.”
Piles and thermopiles remain the most
popular way to prevent thawing. Simple piling
structures provide a certain level of protection
to permafrost as they create a separation
between the heat source and the frozen
ground, providing a shadowing effect on the
ground below the building and helping to
block ground insulating snow from building
up on the ground beneath, which leaves it
exposed to extreme cold winter temperatures.
“Erv Long, working for the US Army Corp
of Engineers, developed the thermopile in
the 1960s,” Henricks says. The thermopile
is a passively refrigerated piling system that
combines a pile foundation approach with
passive refrigeration technology, enabling a
thermal transfer process action to draw heat
from the ground surrounding the pile.
“There are now more than 900 installations
of this and similar technological approaches
in use today, and many more in design as we
speak,” Henricks says. “Today, companies
such as Arctic Foundations offer a variety
of configurations of passive refrigeration
technology approaches for the foundation
design of structures over permafrost.”
Though the thermopile isn’t exactly new
technology, Yarmak points out that Arctic
Foundations’ products are improved and that
the company’s product line is currently larger
than any other thermosyphon manufacturer
in the world.
“These devices are used to ensure a
negative heat balance in the permafrost, thus
keeping it from warming and losing strength,”
Yarmak says. “Typically, insulation is also
used to minimize the heat gain into the
permafrost, but not always. We believe that
there will be an increase in the need for
thermosyphons as the climate warms.”
Yarmak notes that the company is also seeing
more applications for adding active refrigeration
capabilities to passive thermosyphons to
Aerial view of the Fairweather Deadhorse Aviation Center, built on permafrost.
• Less materials needed than typically used for installing exterior rigid insulation.
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0; COLD TRANSFER
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Thanks to Staybridge Suites and
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Contact Insulstone Alaska Sales: Mitch Fairweather
907-978-3272 email@example.com icap-usa.com TM InsulStone
InsulStone developed the world’s ;rst pre-engineered “Mortar-Less”,
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