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Foundations for a Sustainable Future

A regular column in Deep Foundations magazine showcasing successful best practices for sustainable foundations.

March – April 2022

Low Carbon Solution at Neste Singapore Expansion

Authors: Selvaganesh Selvaraju, Ravi Kumar and Seah Yeow Teck, Keller

Neste, a global leader producing renewable diesel and sustainable aviation fuel, has invested $1.6B USD to expand the production capacity of its Singapore refinery by 2023. Keller’s design-build foundation solution provided a 75% reduction in carbon emissions as compared to the original driven pile solution for the tank structures.

May – June 2022

Carbon Footprint Reduction for River Wall Renovation

Author: Patrick IJnsen, Van ’t Hek Group

Van Halteren Infra (part of Van ’t Hek Group) was awarded the contract for a river wall replacement in the Dutch historical town of Schipluiden. The bid selection criteria included, best value for money, lowest life cycle cost and best price. The contractor’s plan to reuse steel sheet piles to provide a massive carbon footprint reduction made the bid successful.

July – August 2022

Reducing Piles to Reduce Carbon Footprint

Authors: Kumar Allady, P.E., Smart Infrastructure Group and Sastry Putcha, Smart Structures

The Florida Department of Transportation District Six planned improvements to State Road 968/Southwest First Street in Miami-Dade County, Florida. The proposed improvements included replacing the existing four-lane, oneway bascule bridge built in 1929 over the Miami River with a new three-lane, one-way bascule bridge.

September – October 2022

Reuse of Foundations in an Old School Building

Authors: Marcel Bielefeld and Kevin van Velzen, Allnamics Geotechnical Experts, The Hague, the Netherlands

A few years ago, an old school building in Breda, a city in the southern part of the Netherlands, was converted into an apartment building. Reusing the foundation that was already in place reduced project costs, time, resources and carbon emissions.

November – December 2022

Foundation Reuse Reduces C02 Emissions in Chicago

Authors: Darren Diehm, Nancy Straub and Bernard Hertlein, GEI Consultants.

A few years ago, an old school building in Breda, a city in the southern part of the Netherlands, was converted into an apartment building. Reusing the foundation that was already in place reduced project costs, time, resources and carbon emissions.

Between 2003 and 2005, a 51-story commercial office tower was constructed on the site of the former US Gypsum (USG) building in Chicago. Through reuse of the caissons, an estimated 540 tons (490 tonnes) of emissions were reduced.

January – February 2023

Saving Water in Spoils Separation

Author: Brandon Connolly, Stage 3 Separation

The Sacramento River East Levee Contract 2 (SREL 2), a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers project in Sacramento, California, awarded a contract to process jet grout spoils. Because this work area in did not have sufficient space to build jet grout spoil pits, an alternative solution was required. The alternative would need to be capable of processing 100% of the spoils from the jet grouting operation and providing a stackable dry solid that would be accepted at the local disposal. While sustainability was not the primary driver in the solution it was a very important secondary benefit.

March – April 2023

Carbon Savings in Seattle

Authors: Gerald Verbeek, Allnamics, with contributions from Andrew Verity, Terracon, and Kimberly Martin, Ph.D., P.E., Keller North America

When it comes to sustainability, many find it difficult to relate to derived emission reductions when alternatives are presented. So, the first challenge is simple: how can you present some very basic numbers to make it possible to put emission reductions in perspective? The second challenge is, what can DFI do other than just talking about more sustainable foundation design?

May – June 2023

Carbon and Cost Savings on Toronto LRT Shoring

Authors: Katie Catelo, P.Eng., and Shawna Munn, P.Eng., of Isherwood Geostructural Engineers, with input data contributions from Adam Plomske, P.Eng,. Green Infrastructure Partners

The Eglinton Crosstown Light Rail Transit (LRT) is Toronto’s first major new subway line since the 1990s, and more than half the line is below grade, with 25 stations and three launch and exit shafts for tunnel boring machines. As the project has expanded, so have the specifications, using a performance-based specification with more design flexibility.

July – August 2023

Carbon Savings in Seattle

Authors: John Huntoon, EIT, BioBilt Infrastructure Systems, and J. David Frost, Ph.D., P.E., Georgia Institute of Technology

Cement and steel production are among the most emissions intensive industrial processes performed on a  large scale. One pound (0.45kg) of cement produced generates around 0.8 lb (0.4 kg) of CO2 emissions and North American steel production generates around 1.4 lb (0.6 kg) CO2e per pound of steel. How can the deep foundations and earth retaining industry reduce emissions associated with the use of these materials?

September – October 2023

Increasing Design Alternatives

Authors: Michelle Vanhove and Thomas Zwaenepoel, Cloud Piling

The construction industry is responsible for 40% of the CO2 emissions worldwide. The deep foundations industry accounts for 20% of those emissions, so more efficient design, reducing volumes of concrete and steel for every project, is crucial to installing more sustainable pile foundations, retaining walls and soil anchors.