Impacts of Thawing Permafrost on Residential Infrastructure: Results and Resources

Sarah Azmi Wendler, Vanessa Dunlap

Research output: NRELPoster


Permafrost underlies approximately 20% of the landmass in the Northern Hemisphere. Inevitably human infrastructure has been and will be built on permafrost; however, due to climate change, the permafrost in many regions has begun to thaw. Using past reports and surveys as guidance, a survey was conducted to track the effects of permafrost thaw on housing infrastructure in the community of Point Lay, Alaska. The Cold Climate Housing Research Center, Inc. and the National Renewable Energy Lab conducted a literature review and interviews to document community issues from thawing permafrost and identify potential mitigation strategies for existing and new infrastructure. Researchers also identified strategies for individual homeowners to inspect their foundations for current issues or anticipate future ones. This poster will cover the results from the survey on the effects of permafrost thawing to Point Lay and include permafrost basics, common concerns from thawing permafrost, steps to identify permafrost sites and visible signs of permafrost degradation, and potential mitigation strategies that may be beneficial to Alaskans and increase resilience in the Arctic.
Original languageAmerican English
PublisherNational Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL)
StatePublished - 2023

Publication series

NamePresented at the One Health, One Future 2023 International Conference, 28 February - 3 March 2023, Fairbanks, Alaska

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/PO-5600-85302


  • Alaska
  • permafrost
  • Point Lay
  • thawing


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