The Construction Industry is contributing significantly to CO2 emissions, and so is the Deep Foundation Industry. With sustainability becoming more relevant each and every day, we, as a profession, have a role to play in reducing our emissions. Decarbonization is the first option: more efficient design reducing volumes of concrete or steel, and the use of different materials with a lower carbon footprint. However, this should not be viewed as the only option available: the reuse of existing foundations must be considered as well and even preferred as the most sustainable option.
In March 2023, DFI Europe and the Geotechnical Section of the KIVI organized a very successful 3-day conference to discuss these burning topics in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. This was the occasion to share recent experiences and good practices to raise the level of the industry in this challenging matter. The organizers want to keep the pace, and the second conference on this topic is now scheduled for May 2024, once again in Amsterdam in the beautiful KIT. The choice of the KIT, as highlighted during the first edition, is driven by the fact that in 2017 the KIT launched the SDG (Sustainable Development Goals) House. It is home to more than 50 organizations and acts as a catalyst for sustainability initiatives as a place to meet and exchange ideas on Sustainability.
In Amsterdam, the issue of the durability of the old timber pile foundations and their reuse is a recurring topic of endless debate, as was discussed already during the first edition. This can be because the loads have increased since the structure was first designed, as is the case with the bridges in Amsterdam, or because a new building is constructed to replace a structure that no longer meets the current requirements. This can provide insight for the many other places in the world where this issue is getting momentum, with urban centres being reconstructed and transformed, and the issue is also not limited to just timber piles. How do you address the remaining service life of steel piles that may have been subjected to corrosion? Or how do you assess the bearing capacity of any foundation pile, for which the original design and construction data is no longer available?
In this second edition of the International Conference, all these aspects will be covered in four sessions that will focus on the overall concept of foundation decarbonization and reuse, the assessment of existing foundations, the design aspects associated with this topic, and finally the impact this approach will have on the construction phase. A special focus will be given to contractual and insurance aspects.
The Conference format will be similar to the first one, with some enhancements to capitalize on our first experience. Each session will be opened by a keynote speaker, after which papers from around the world will be presented. The session will then close with an extended Q&A session with all the speakers. In addition, a panel discussion will be organized where the owner with his legal representation will discuss with an architect, a structural engineer, and a geotechnical engineer, the options to repurpose an existing structure that involves the reuse of the foundation.
We hope that you share our energy to progress on this important matter and will join us in Amsterdam to share your experiences, listen to colleagues’ presentations and to participate during the panel discussions.
Join us in Amsterdam, The Netherlands!
See the conference website:
During the first two days of this event there will be four sessions with lectern presentations, focusing on basic issues when it comes to foundation reuse:
- Session 1: The decision-making process regarding foundation decarbonization and reuse
- Session 2: The inspection and testing of existing foundations to assess their suitability for reuse
- Session 3: The design process when foundations are decarbonized or reused
- Session 4: The construction phase when foundations are decarbonized or reused