Building Foundations on Permafrost; Mackenzie Valley, N.W.T.

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TypeTechnical Report
Series titleTechnical Report, Division of Building Research, National Research Council Canada; Issue 8
Physical description63 p.
SubjectPermafrost; Soils; foundations; frost heaving; settlement; Basements and foundations
AbstractExploratory investigations of the foundations on permafrost at the settlements of the Mackenzie River District were undertaken during the summer of 1950. Timber mudsill foundations were the most common type used, followed by wood, steel, concrete piles, and concrete wall footings. More than half of the foundations studied showed some failure either as a result of frost heaving or settlement. Twenty-five structures were examined in detail giving building type, soil conditions and foundation type. Surface timber mudsill foundations were found unsuitable in frost susceptible soils and showed deterioration in as little as five years. Timber and concrete pad foundations showed similar failures. Recommendations for foundation selection should be preceded by a reconnaisance survey consisting of detailed information on topography, drainage, vegetation, permafrost and housing in the general area. Next, site surveys should be carried out giving details of the soil profile, groundwater level, extent and depth of the permafrost and location and size of ice lenses. Preference should be given to sites with suitable foundation materials such as gravels; to areas free from permafrost or where permafrost occurs permanently; to areas having good drainage; and to areas having non-frost susceptible soils. Lastly a cost and function study should precede the final selection of the foundation type.
Publication date
AffiliationNRC Institute for Research in Construction; National Research Council Canada
Peer reviewedNo
NRC number467
NPARC number20358458
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Record identifierc5f8a810-8f2f-4de7-b8d6-1d60c2f5003f
Record created2012-07-20
Record modified2016-10-03
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