Like any great team, business, or relationship, a strong foundation is the key to the long-term success of any building. For contractors, architects, and engineers, understanding which foundation is best for your building is an important part of your design and construction work. As a leading producer of screwpile foundation systems, IDEAL Foundation Systems will examine some of the most common forms of foundations.
Deep And Shallow Foundations
Most buildings rely on one of two kinds of foundations, either shallow or deep foundations. The distinguishing feature between these two foundations is, of course, the depth at which the foundation is poured or laid. Shallow foundations, also called spread or open footings, can be made in soil depths as low as three feet. Conversely, deep foundations need to be made at depths of 60-200 feet. The two foundations are used based on the proposed size, height, and weight of the building. Shallow foundations are naturally used for smaller, lighter buildings, while deep foundations are required for heavier, taller, and larger buildings. Within these kinds of foundations are numerous specific types of foundational systems.
Perhaps one of the most simple foundations, individual footings are also among the most common. This foundation creates a series of columns that ends at a footing, made from a rectangular block of concrete. Engineers have to determine the size of the foot by looking at the estimating the total load on the column and divide it by the safe bearing capacity of the soil. This tells the engineer how large they foot needs to be, and how deep it should be.
Raft foundations, commonly referred to as mat foundations, are used when a building is in need of a basement. The entire basement floor acts as the building’s foundation. This allows the weight of the building to be spread across the footprint of the building, ensuring that the weight is distributed equally, and preventing shifting and faults. It gets its name because the raft of concrete seemingly floats on a bed of soil. Raft foundations are ideal for buildings placed on loose or weak soil, because the raft helps to distribute the weight.
A kind of deep foundation system, the screwpile essentially uses a giant screw to drill into the earth and root itself into a layer of stronger, closely packed soil. Often, these screwpiles are reinforced with a casing of grout or concrete to ensure that they do not shift in the soil. As they are driven so deeply into the ground, they can support immense weights on relatively small platforms. Screwpiles are the preferred foundation system when the build site has a layer of weak soil at the surface. These loose, weak layers cannot support the weight of a building, so the screwpile embeds itself in the stronger layer. Screwpiles can take much heavier loads that individual footings.
The STELCOR® System From IDEAL Foundation Systems
We’ve produced the STELCOR® foundation system as the perfect way to quickly and easily add a durable and adaptable foundation to your next building project. This system removes now soil, can be installed in high water table areas, uses grout to secure the pile in place, and is significantly more cost-effective than other pile systems. Contact us today to find out more about the STELCOR screwpile system.