The impact of an integrated platform on carbon emissions


The challenge

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


The solution

After extensive analysis, the software developers of CloudPiling were able to create a design software which integrates both the vertical and horizontal behavior as well as the structural design of a deep foundation. This will allow in a cost effective manner to analyze a wide range of alternatives to generate a cost effective, but above all sustainable design.

By applying this software on onshore windmill foundations the originally envisaged design with a total of 25 Kelly piles (15.3m long and a diameter of 0.88m) for each of the 3 planned turbines could be optimized.

The benefits

Applying CloudPiling the reinforcement could initially be reduced by 23 % (saving 116 kg of steel per pile), which in turn allowed for a smaller pile diameter, albeit slightly longer (15.9 m instead of 15.3 m). In the end, the total required amount of steel could be reduced by 29 % (or 11,175 kg), while the concrete volume was reduced by 28 % (or 202 m3).

Apart from the savings in materials cost and construction efforts, the total carbon emissions in terms of greenhouse gas (GHG) CO2 equivalents was reduced by some 76 t CO2e.


Publication 09/2023 in DFI US:

A regular column showcasing best practices for sustainable foundations

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