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Common Types of Foundations in Building

Common Types of Foundations in Building
July 02
09:44 2014
Types of Foundations {focus_keyword} Common Types of Foundations in Building Types of Foundations

Types of Foundations

All foundations are divided into two categories: shallow foundations and deep foundations. The words shallow and deep refer to the depth of soil in which the foundation is made. Shallow foundations can be made in depths of as little as 3ft (1m), while deep foundations can be made at depths of 60 – 200ft (20 – 65m). Shallow foundations are used for small, light buildings, while deep ones are for large, heavy buildings.

Shallow foundations

Shallow foundations are also called spread footings or open footings. The ‘open’ refers to the fact that the foundations are made by first excavating all the earth till the bottom of the footing, and then constructing the footing. During the early stages of work, the entire footing is visible to the eye, and is therefore called an open foundation. The idea is that each footing takes the concentrated load of the column and spreads it out over a large area, so that the actual weight on the soil does not exceed the safe bearing capacity of the soil.

There are several kinds of shallow footings: individual footings, strip footings and raft foundations.

In cold climates, shallow foundations must be protected from freezing. This is because water in the soil around the foundation can freeze and expand, thereby damaging the foundation. These foundations should be built below the frost line, which is the level in the ground above which freezing occurs. If they cannot be built below the frost line, they should be protected by insulation: normally a little heat from the building will permeate into the soil and prevent freezing.

individual footings {focus_keyword} Common Types of Foundations in Building individual footings 2

individual footings

Individual Footings

Individual footings are one of the most simple and common types of foundations. These are used when the load of the building is carried by columns. Usually, each column will have its own footing. The footing is just a square or rectangular pad of concrete on which the column sits. To get a very rough idea of the size of the footing, the engineer will take the total load on the column and divide it by the safe bearing capacity (SBC) of the soil. For example, if a column has a vertical load of 10T, and the SBC of the soil is 10T/m2, then the area of the footing will be 1m2. In practice, the designer will look at many other factors before preparing a design for the footing.

Individual footings are usually connected by a plinth beam, a horizontal beam that is built at ground or below ground level.

strip footings {focus_keyword} Common Types of Foundations in Building strip footings

strip footings

Strip Footings

Strip footings are commonly found in load-bearing masonry , and act as a long strip that supports the weight of an entire wall. These are used where the building loads are carried by entire Walls rather than isolated columns, such as in older buildings made of masonry.
Raft or Mat Foundations

Raft Foundations, also called Mat Foundations, are most often used when basements are to be constructed. In a raft, the entire basement floor slab acts as the foundation; the weight of the building is spread evenly over the entire footprint of the building. It is called a raft because the building is like a vessel that ‘floats’ in a sea of soil.

Mat Foundations are used where the soil is week, and therefore building loads have to be spread over a large area, or where columns are closely spaced, which means that if individual footings were used, they would touch each other.

Pile Foundations {focus_keyword} Common Types of Foundations in Building Pipe piles being driven into the ground

Pile Foundations

Deep Foundation:

Pile Foundations

Pile foundations are used when the building loads to be transferred to the ground are very large in relation to the safe bearing capacity of the soil.

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