Foundation is not just a base that supports the superstructure. It is more than that. It is the barrier which protects your building from the internal movements of the earth beneath, keeps the moisture out and also completely insulates against the cold and heat. Foundation or the sub-structure in general is thus the most important part of the building which withholds the integrity, stability and durability of the structure. Here is a list of some of the amazing facts that you did not know about such foundations:
1. Foundation – a tailored suit for the building
The walls of the foundation and the footings are usually built using reinforced concrete. But, just digging a pit, placing the bars and pouring the concrete will not deliver a good foundation. The construction of the foundation requires a thorough, professional and experienced engineer monitoring it. Every small aspect like the level of water table, the soil used for backfill, the depth of solid strata, etc. must be clearly understood and considered while planning. Only when the planning and execution is right, the foundation perfectly fits the building, like a tailored suit.
2. The structural and economic aspects
The weight of an average house would be around 50 tons. Of this, the foundation is almost 7 to 8 tons in itself. Thus it forms almost 14 to 15% of the total weight. The cost of building the foundation is similar. The foundation takes up almost 8 to 15% of the total cost, depending on the material used for construction. While most of them are constructed using concrete, some designers may prefer using masonry blocks as well.
3. Reasons for failure
No matter how well the structure is planned, there is always some chance of failure. One of the main reasons of foundation failure is the use of non-porous backfill soil. When soil such as clay is used, it behaves like a sponge and holds a large volume of water. This causes instability when the soil expands or contracts. The other important reasons for failure would include an improper curing period (a minimum of 3 days is a must), insufficient compaction of the layers and interruptions in concreting (should be done in a single stretch).
4. Latest technologies in foundations
The use of self-leveling concrete in foundations has been the most interesting recent development. The concrete flows like water and occupies the entire volume of the form-work. It does not require any external compaction as such. This saves a lot of time and money. Another interesting development would be the pre-cast footing panels. These panels are cast in the factories, transported to the site and just assembled on the spot. This reduces the workload extensively.
5. The foundation can be moved!
Structures such as the age old monuments and other eternally important structures need to be preserved. With the developments coming up in the location, the position of such buildings may be awkward. It may require that such structures be moved to a new and better location. Their foundations are heavy and deep, but with this present day technology, anything is possible. There are companies which specialize in the re-positioning of such buildings. They make use of hydraulic jacks to lift and transport the building, along with its foundation, without disturbing its stability in any way. Just wow!
Having a solid foundation is crucial when building any structure. Luckily there are professionals in drilling in Delaware and all across the country who specialize in the construction of foundations. I hope that you got to know some unknown facts about building foundations and that the article was worth the read.