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Types and characteristics of foundations

Types of house foundationsAlmost every building has a supporting frame designed to provide a house’s stability and ability to stand the test of time in a proper way. Foundation is a structural element of a building which function is to transmit any kind of loads of the construction itself.

All the buildings require a foundation. Situations when laying it not required are extremely rare (for example, in the case of modular lightweight structures, which however require ground anchorages nevertheless). It is very important to know about two types of house foundations and main peculiarities of each of them.

Types of house foundations and their main characteristics

Inside a frame of a structure power and voltage are generated, this may lead to serious deformations of a structure in case it is not well anchored to the ground which gets all the loads we mentioned above.

There are two types of loads influencing on a structure:

  • permanent loads, caused by their own weight of the materials the building is constructed in its structural units,
  • intermittent loads, which depend on an exploitation of the building.

Types of concrete foundations

In order to create a structure that responds well to the loads and stresses caused by external forces – such as winds and seismic events – a structure must be constructed complying with the principles of statics and construction sciences, which give accurate dimensioning for proper planning according to super accurate mathematical formulas. This statement also applies to the choice of a right foundation which typology must be in strict accordance with the applicable building codes. Additionally, you must thoroughly and carefully analyze the geological and geotechnical parameters and the terrain on which the building is to be built.

Let’s talk about the analysis of various types of existing foundations. They are divided into two classes – shallow and deep ones.

Shallow foundations

Shallow foundationsThe most widely used in the construction of buildings which ability to withstand a great variety of deformation types is really strong. This technology is the most economical and is used in the construction of light buildings.

There are two main types of shallow foundations:

  • The first type is formed of plates composed of reinforcement cages – square or rectangular sections – the size of which varies depending on the loads that are exerted to influence on the foundation. Frames of this type are rigidly interconnected rods which provides a better susceptibility to any loads changes. Then they are placed on the prepared concrete base. Finally, the pit is filled with concrete.
  • The second type is made of precast concrete beams and has a form of a lattice structure.

Deep foundations

Are mostly needed in cases when it is necessary to construct a building with super great loads. An example of their use could be any skyscraper that ever existed. Such designs are carried out in the form of stone or concrete pillars placed on the perimeter of the building at equal distances. The materials that are usually used are wood, concrete, reinforced concrete, brick, etc. Deep foundations provide excellent distribution of the vertical loads, so their carrying capacity is much higher than that of a shallow one. These types of foundations are not used in the construction of private houses. This is due to the unreasonableness of the process itself, high prices of the needed materials and complexity, which does not allow them to be built with your own hands.

Deep foundationsThere are three main types of shallow foundations:

  • Caissons
  • Shells
  • “Diaphragm walls”

There are some other subtypes of the main types of foundations, but they are used very rarely because they are very specialized and expensive ones.

Choosing the right type of a foundation is one of the most important moments in the construction of various buildings. Of course, there are many special programs that help to evaluate the expected loads, exploitation characteristics of materials, etc., but these results are very important to be correctly interpreted and read. For this reason it is necessary to consult with experienced civil engineers and leading specialists in this field.

Underestimating the importance of the foundation, as well as trying saving on materials and structures, is a very serious error which can sometimes be rather cruel and inevitably leads to grave consequences. Choosing the correct and reliable foundation is a guarantee of a long life of a building and a safety of people living or working in it.

1 thought on “Types and characteristics of foundations”

  1. It’s nice that you mentioned how all buildings require a foundation. We need a new house and we are planning to build one from scratch. For the first step, we should definitely ask for foundation laying services.

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