Foundation is the lowest part of the building or the civil structure that is in direct contact with the soil which transfers loads from the structure to the soil safely. Generally, the foundation can be classified into two, namely shallow foundation and deep foundation.
A shallow foundation transfers the load to a stratum present in a
shallow depth. The deep foundation transfers the load to a deeper depth
below the ground surface.
A tall building like a skyscraper or a building constructed on very weak
soil requires deep foundation. If the constructed building has the plan
to extend vertically in future, then a deep foundation must be
To construct a foundation, trenches are dig deeper into the soil till a
hard stratum is reached. To get stronger base foundation concrete is
poured into this trench. These trenches are incorporated with
reinforcement cage to increase the strength of the foundation.
The projected steel rods that are projected outwards act as the bones
and must be connected with the substructure above. Once the foundation
has been packed correctly the construction of the building can be
The construction of the foundation can be done with concrete, steel,
stones, bricks etc. The material and the type of foundation selected for
the desired structure depends on the design loads and the type of
The design of the foundation must incorporate different effects of
construction on the environment. For example, the digging and piling
works done for deep foundation may result in adverse disturbance to the
nearby soil and structural foundation. These can sometimes cause the
settlement issues of the nearby structure.
Such effects have to be studied and taken care before undergoing such
operations. Disposal of the waste material from the operations must be
disposed properly. The construction of foundation has to be done to
resist the external attack of harmful substances.
The foundation for each structure is designed such that:
The underlying soil below the foundation structure does not undergo shear failure
The settlement caused during the first service load or have to be within the limit
Allowable bearing pressure can be defined as the pressure the soil can withstand without failure.
What is the Purpose of Foundation?
Foundations are provided for all load carrying structure for following purposes:
Foundation are the main reason behind the stability of any
structure. The stronger is the foundation, more stable is the structure.
The proper design and construction of foundations provide a proper
surface for the development of the substructure in a proper level and
over a firm bed.
Specially designed foundation helps in avoiding the lateral movements of the supporting material.
A proper foundation distributes load on to the surface of the bed
uniformly. This uniform transfer helps in avoiding unequal settlement of
the building. Differential settlement is an undesirable building
The foundation serves the purpose of completely distributing the
load from the structure over a large base area and then to the soil
underneath. This load transferred to the soil should be within the
allowable bearing capacity of the soil.
Functions of Foundation in Construction
Based on the purposes of foundation in construction, the main functions of the foundation can be enlisted as below:
Provide overall lateral stability for the structure
Foundation serve the function of providing a level surface for the construction of substructure
Load Distribution is carried out evenly
The load intensity is reduced to be within the safe bearing capacity of the soil
The soil movement effect is resisted and prevented
Scouring and the undermining issues are solved by the construction of foundation
Requirements of a Good Foundation
The design and the construction of a well-performing foundation must
possess some basic requirements that must not be ignored. They are:
The design and the construction of the foundation is done such that
it can sustain as well as transmit the dead and the imposed loads to the
soil. This transfer has to be carried out without resulting in any form
of settlement that can result in any form of stability issues for the
Differential settlements can be avoided by having a rigid base for
the foundation. These issues are more pronounced in areas where the
superimposed loads are not uniform in nature.
Based on the soil and area it is recommended to have a deeper
foundation so that it can guard any form of damage or distress. These
are mainly caused due to the problem of shrinkage and swelling because
of temperature changes.
The location of the foundation chosen must be an area that is not affected or influenced by future works or factors.
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