Grantee Research Project Results
IsoTruss-Reinforced Concrete Foundations for Increased Resiliency to Natural DisastersEPA Contract Number: 68HERC22C0029
Title: IsoTruss-Reinforced Concrete Foundations for Increased Resiliency to Natural Disasters
Investigators: Jensen, David
Small Business: IsoTruss Inc.
EPA Contact: Richards, April
Project Period: December 1, 2021 through May 31, 2022
Project Amount: $99,966
RFA: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I (2022) RFA Text | Recipients Lists
Research Category: Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR)
In order to promote human and environmental health, infrastructure must become safer, longer lasting, and more sustainable. Telecommunication structures with resiliency to extreme conditions are particularly beneficial because they allow communications to continue even in emergency situations. IsoTruss Inc. will develop a composite-reinforced concrete foundation that will increase resiliency without increasing construction time and cost compared to traditional solutions. IsoTruss solutions increase resiliency to hurricane conditions by eliminating corrosion, decreasing wind loads experienced by the tower, and integrating axial and shear components of the reinforcement into a single structure design. IsoTruss solutions are well-suited to hurricane/typhoon-prone regions, as evidenced by the fast adoption of IsoTruss towers by major tower owners in the Philippines and Vietnam. This is largely due to the corrosion-resistance of the composite material and the superior wind resistance of the IsoTruss geometry which extend product lifetimes by 5X. The proposed IsoTruss-reinforced concrete foundation would further improve the resiliency over steel-reinforced concrete by better combining the axial and shear strength of the reinforcement, providing more energy absorption and allowing IsoTruss-reinforced concrete to be rated to withstand higher loading conditions.
These advantages of IsoTruss-reinforced concrete foundations can be realized with substantially increasing installation cost and time. The IsoTruss-reinforced foundation concept was successfully tested with a foam foundation pilot deployment for a commercial customer. The installation costs for this test were reduced by 60% compared to a typical tower foundation. The IsoTruss design needs significant adjustments to work with a concrete foundation. This feasibility study will build on the reinforced foam foundation by creating an IsoTruss-reinforced concrete foundation design through collaboration with a composite-reinforced concrete world expert.
This solution is timely for telecom tower owners with the transition to 5G networks in the US that will increase tower density by 10X leading to a Total Addressable Market of $75 billion. This sizable increase in towers promotes tower owners looking for solutions that last longer and reduce maintenance costs. IsoTruss technology also has the potential for a broader environmental impact. IsoTruss reduces material usage by 12X on a weight basis, resulting in 70% reduction in carbon emissions. If every 5G tower were composite, it would prevent 56,000 tons of CO2 being emitted. IsoTruss will utilize this opportunity to gain market share in the telecom industry. The success of IsoTruss-reinforced concrete solutions in the telecom industry will allow future entry into other applications such as roads, bridges, and buildings.
Progress and Final Reports:
The perspectives, information and conclusions conveyed in research project abstracts, progress reports, final reports, journal abstracts and journal publications convey the viewpoints of the principal investigator and may not represent the views and policies of ORD and EPA. Conclusions drawn by the principal investigators have not been reviewed by the Agency.