Some vital tips for the selection of proper foundation types

In order to maintain the longevity of a building, the most vital step is to explore foundation types and select the most suitable foundation for your building project.

FOUNDATION TYPES FROM THE GROUND UP: As per the Soil Mechanics in Engineering Practice, a foundation means the lower segment of a building structure that transmits its gravity loads to the earth. This foundation is selected based on the following factors -

1. Ground/soil conditions
2. Types of loads from the building structure

GROUND/SOIL CONDITIONS - Soil investigation is performed for the following purposes :

• Nature and type of soil
• Depth of various layers of soil
• Bearing strength of the soil at different levels
• Level/slope of the ground

As for instance, when the soil adjacent to the surface does not have the capacity to sustain the structural loads, hard strata (soil layer with adequate load bearing strength) should be selected and most often deeper foundations are essential. Otherwise, with the existence of homogeneous stable ground, a shallow foundation is suitable.

LOAD TYPES FROM BUILDINGS: Loading conditions severely impact the selection of foundation types which are based on the type of building for your project, location/ecological factors and the type of structural construction materials effective for your project. The following factors are mainly responsible for raising loads and constructing deeper foundations:

• High-rise/multi-story buildings
• Susceptibility to strong winds or earthquake zones
• Reinforced concrete buildings

PUT THE PIECES TOGETHER: As soon as the soils are examined and loads types are established for the building project, then put the pieces together and opt for the best foundation type for the project. These main foundation types comprise of the following :-

• Spread/wall footings.
• This type of foundation is applicable where the base is broader as compared to a normal load bearing wall.
• The broader base allocates the weight from the building structure across a larger surface area and enhances the longevity of the building.
• Drilled pier/deep foundation.

• This type of deep foundation is useful for transmitting greater loads from the building structure to hard rock strata.
• This type of foundation can minimize the amount of ground disturbance whereas provides protection against earthquakes and wind forces. It is also suitable where highly expansive soils exist near surface.
• Post-tensioned slab foundation.
• This type of foundation extends over the entire area of the building to sustain loads from columns and walls.
• It can be utilized on expansive soils.

Some vital tips for the selection of proper foundation types