35-Year-Old Foundations, Thule Air Base, Greenland

by Alfred R. Mangus, Goentzel Builders Inc, Anchorage, AK, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Cold Regions Engineering


In February 1951 the secret project 'Blue Jay' to construct the base began. Timber piling were used in the foundations of boilers, generators, and other heavy equipment, as well as under the columns and door tracks of hangars. Pressure treatment was used for all pile foundations. For heavy equipment boilers and generators, concrete mass blocks need to be constructed to stabilize the vibrating machinery. At Thule, the hot boilers' mass blocks have a layer of insulation. The Pan-Type ventilating duct is a very common successful foundation system at Thule. Only about 10 buildings in Thule have had foundation settlement due to degradation of permafrost, and they all use an air ventilating foundation system. These and other aspects of the foundations, including designs that have proved successful, are discussed in the paper.

Subject Headings: Pile foundations | Foundations | Machine foundations | Construction equipment | Concrete blocks | Mass concrete | Ventilation | Foundation design | Greenland | Denmark

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