Frost-Protected Shallow Foundation Study
This project used funding from AHFC to purchase equipment and drilling services to install and monitor five thermocouple strings at each of two houses. This was part of a larger project that in turn is part of the PhD project of Mr. Paul Perreault. The basic idea behind frost-protected shallow foundations (FPSF) is that suitable insulation placed outside of a shallow (hence, less expensive) foundation can protect it from heaving due to seasonal freezing. Scandinavian countries have been using this technique for many years and there is guidance in the International Residential Code for FPSF for regions with air-freezing indexes up to 4000-degree-Fahrenheit days.
Many areas in Alaska exceed this index. Mr. Perreault collected temperature data from the soil under five actual houses, compared that data to the results of computer modeling, and wrote a draft specification for the FPSF for inclusion in residential codes that would apply at air freezing indexes appropriate to Interior and Northern Alaska (4000-8000 Air Freezing Days).