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Types of foundations found in construction projects

Whether building single-family homes, skyscrapers or superstructures, choosing the right foundation is essential. The foundation of a building serves two main purposes: to distribute the weight of the load-bearing walls to the soil or bedrock below and to keep out groundwater or soil moisture.

The topography, geology, and soil science (the study of soil) at your construction site and the size of your building, and other factors, such as the type of construction, determine the type of foundation that is right for your building.

In this article, we’ll cover the most common foundation types and examples of each. We also provide visual evidence of each foundation to clarify the benefits of each type of foundation as well as professional patio installation examples when using a foundation-based approach to the concrete slab.

What are the types of foundations?

Since the land beneath our feet can be made up of many different types of soils, rocks, sediments, and more, geotechnical engineers need to understand how these variables within the earth affect its structure and structural integrity.

There are two main categories of foundations in construction: deep and shallow. Let’s cover them at a high level:

Deep Fundamentals

Deep foundations are required when building on sand and other soft soil that cannot support the load of the building. Instead, a foundation must be built deep underground or even underwater, where stronger strata can be established.

Bridges, piers, and dams, for example, must provide foundations underwater while preserving structural integrity, and this is where deep foundations become essential for the construction of large structures.

Shallow foundations

Usually, a shallow foundation is wider than a deep, and shallow foundations can also be called staggered or open foundations.

For obvious reasons, shallow foundations are the more economical of the two types, and they don’t require much digging or drilling into the earth, and for that reason, they are the most common.

Shallow foundations are useful if the building is not extremely heavy and the ground at a shallow depth can support significant weight.

Examples of shallow foundations

We will cover four examples of shallow foundations: slab, individual foundation, combined foundation, and trunk wall. Each has a unique structure and different usage scenarios.

Matt Foundation

A slab foundation makes the most of the surface where the building will be erected, essentially using the basement as the entire load-bearing foundation. Mat foundations are often used when the soil is loose and weak, and the weight needs to be evenly distributed.

Mat foundations are also used when a basement is feasible, and the pillars or columns are close together. It is often called a raft foundation because the basement foundation is submerged in the ground like the hull of a raft in the water.

Individual support

One of the most common types of shallow foundations is the individual foundation – it may even be what comes to mind when you think of a foundation.

Individual or insulated staggered foundations are usually square, rectangular, or even a geometric truncated block …