CIV_ENV 353: Energy Geostructures and Geosystems

Quarter Offered

Spring : TuTh 12:30-1:50 ; Rotta Loria


Familiarity with the fundamentals of the mechanics of materials as well as with the theoretical essentials of heat and mass transfers


This course focuses on energy geostructures and geosystems: novel multifunctional earth-contact technologies that can provide renewable energy supply and structural support to any built environment. The course comprises theoretical and practical sessions. The theoretical sessions expand on the competence needed for the analysis and design of energy geostructures and geosystems from energy, geotechnical and structural perspectives. The practical sessions involve the development of a project that simulates an actual design process of energy geostructures or related geoenergy solutions. The project will be performed by student groups. The results of the project will be summarized in a presentation and a portfolio to simulate an actual design competition in practice. The presentation will be made to the class in front of a jury towards the end of the course. The same jury will evaluate the project portfolio. Specific learning objectives of this course are as follows:

  • Understand the fundamental physical phenomena governing the behavior of energy geostructures, with a focus on the deformation, heat transfer and mass transfer phenomena
  • Assess how physical phenomena characterize the performance of energy geostructures and geosystems, with a focus on energy piles, energy walls and energy tunnels
  • Master the analysis and design concepts needed to conceptually develop real applications of energy geostructures and geosystems

This course targets students interested in energy, environmental sustainability, structures, geosystems, and urban planning. It has been structured with civil, environmental, energy and mechanical engineers in mind.

Course Assessment: 

  1. Bi-weekly quizzes – 50%
  2. Design project to be performed in groups and summarized in the form of a portfolio – 40%
  3. Presentation of design project to be performed in groups – 10%

 Attendance and participation to class are considered for the final grading

Suggested Text:

Laloui, L. and Rotta Loria, A. F. (2019) Analysis and Design of Energy Geostructures, Elsevier Academic Press, p. 1098