Date of Award

Fall 12-2020

Degree Type


Degree Name


Degree Program

Civil Engineering


Civil and Environmental Engineering

Major Professor

Dr. Malay Ghose Hajra


Geothermal energy piles offer the benefits of modifying existing construction practices to reduce costs associated with heating and cooling. A major obstacle today in effective utilization of these systems is a general lack of site-specific data on the thermal properties of subsoils. To maximize the potential efficiency of these systems, engineers require an understanding of the potential impact of this technology on existing foundation design methodology as well as a means for quantifying potential heat transfer through soil by determination of the soil’s thermal conductivity. This study examines the feasibility of energy piles with a focus on alluvial soils found in the New Orleans and Lower Mississippi River valley areas by evaluating available empirical means for estimating thermal conductivity coupled with a field and laboratory investigation. These values for thermal conductivity were then compared with values in other studies performed on the efficiency of systems in other cooling dominated climates.


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