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An Introduction to Foundations in Areas of Significant Frost Penetration

COURSE NO: G03-003
An Introduction to Foundations in Areas of Significant Frost Penetration
Course Highlights

This online engineering PDH course provides an introduction to the design of structure foundations in seasonal and permafrost regions. It discusses planning, design and construction methods for buildings and other infrastructure that can mitigate these forces in areas of significant frost penetration.


Areas of significant frost penetration may be defined as those in which freezing temperatures occur in the ground to sufficient depth to be a significant factor in foundation design.  These areas may be further characterized as seasonal frost and permafrost zones.  Freeze-thaw temperature changes can exert major and potentially destructive forces on the foundations of structures.


This 3 PDH online course is intended for civil engineers, structural engineers, geotechnical engineers, geologists and other design and construction professionals seeking an introduction to methods and techniques for accommodating frost penetration issues in design of foundations and footings for buildings and structures.

Learning Objectives

This PE continuing education course is intended to provide you with the following specific knowledge and skills:

  • Learning about the characteristics of seasonal frost and permafrost and how they affect the foundations of buildings and other infrastructure
  • Knowing the geographical regions of North American where significant frost penetration is an issue in design of foundations
  • Understanding how the more intense the winter cooling of the frozen layer in the annual frost zone and the more rapid the rate of frost heave, affects the intensity of uplift forces in piles and foundation walls
  • Understanding the engineering problems that may arise in areas of significant frost penetration
  • Learning about progressive freezing and frost heave of foundations that may develop under refrigerated warehouses and other similar facilities
  • Knowing the most important factors contributing to the existence of adverse foundation conditions in seasonal frost and permafrost regions
  • Learning how freezing and thawing indexes are employed in foundation design
Course Document

In this professional engineering CEU course, you need to review the course document titled, "An Introduction to Foundations in Areas of Significant Frost Penetration".

To view, print and study the course document, please click on the following link(s):
An Introduction to Foundations in Areas of Significant Frost Penetration (564 KB)
Course Quiz
Once you complete your course review, you need to take a multiple-choice quiz consisting of fifteen (15) questions to earn 3 PDH credit. The quiz will be based on the entire document.
The minimum passing score is 70%. There is no time limit on the quiz, and you can take it multiple times until you pass at no additional cost.
Certificate of Completion

Upon successful completion of the quiz, print your Certificate of Completion instantly. (Note: if you are paying by check or money order, you will be able to print it after we receive your payment.) For your convenience, we will also email it to you. Please note that you can log in to your account at any time to access and print your Certificate of Completion.

To buy the course and take the quiz, please click on: