Published in Alaska Business Monthly: Arctic infrastructure ingenuity

July 17, 2019

Engineering keeps old and new buildings stable and safe. Three Anchorage design experts explain what’s involved in the far north.


Much of Alaska is above the Arctic Circle, and more of it deals with Arctic conditions. What does it take to design for permafrost or for a limited-construction season due to weather? Anchorage architects Giovanna Gambardella and Ross Timm, along with structural engineer Bruce Hopper, talk about the unique challenges of designing and building in Alaska’s extreme conditions.

When it comes to permafrost, “the general rule of thumb is if it’s frozen, keep it frozen, and if it’s thawed, keep it thawed,” says Hopper.

Read more from our experienced designers in the June 2019 issue of Alaska Business Monthly.


Kwethluk K-12 School in Kwethluk, Alaska. The 45,500-square-foot school in western Alaska is built on piles 11 feet off the ground to protect the building from regular spring flooding in the community.

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