The Constructor

What is Foundation in Construction? Purpose and the Functions of Foundations

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What is a Foundation in Construction?

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 suggested.

Fig.1.Building Foundation in Construction

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 started. 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 underlying soil. 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:

What is the Purpose of Foundation?

Foundations are provided for all load carrying structure for following purposes:

Functions of Foundation in Construction

Based on the purposes of foundation in construction, the main functions of the foundation can be enlisted as below:
  1. Provide overall lateral stability for the structure
  2. Foundation serve the function of providing a level surface for the construction of substructure
  3. Load Distribution is carried out evenly
  4. The load intensity is reduced to be within the safe bearing capacity of the soil
  5. The soil movement effect is resisted and prevented
  6. 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:
  1. 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 structure.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. The location of the foundation chosen must be an area that is not affected or influenced by future works or factors.
Read More: Types of Foundations for Buildings and their Uses in Construction Types of Deep Foundations used in Construction and Their Uses
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