Welcome to KCS Foundations
In this section we’ll be advising on everything to do with building foundations whether relating to construction from scratch, or repair. If you have any queries about these or associated topics and we haven’t so far published a relevant article, contact us. We will either feature one within days or give you some free direct advice.
It’s not immediately obvious to the layman what is meant by ‘foundations’ ‘Building foundations’ are the lowest or supporting part of any structure. Historically however buildings have sometimes been built from wood simply placed on the ground or constructed around posts. Such buildings have no obvious foundations at all. The earliest types of genuine foundations were stones embedded into the ground. So that’s the starting point for the types of shallow foundations we feature here. Sometimes you’ll hear foundations referred to as ‘footings’. That normally means the shallow foundation associated with a small structure up to the size of a house. It usually consists of pads or strips of concrete extending down below the frost line, or alternatively thick reinforced or post tensioned slabs embedded into the surface of the soil.
For larger buildings, such as blocks of flats, builders use deeper foundations like caissons, geo-piers and earth stabilized columns designed to transfer the weight of the structure deep down into the sub soil. Driven shafts and impact driven piles, serve the same purpose, Sometimes the services of a Structural or even a Geotechnical Engineer is required to ensure that the building foundations are capable of bearing their loads and to consider the effects of settlement. Subsidence can occur in soft and muddy soils, and where the soil varies from place to place in the same foundation the structure of the building can suffer.
Shallow Building Foundations
For the most part we’ll be concerned with advice on Shallow Building Foundations. Deeper foundations are largely restricted to major projects such as blocks of flats. But if any of our readers would like to see an article advising on anything associated with deep foundations we can oblige. We can advise on how to construct anything from slurry walls, to marine foundations. We can also assist with associated issues like coping with seismic and lateral loads. In short anything. We’ll be featuring articles on the various topics arising from ‘spread footing’ ‘mat-slab’, and ‘slab on grade’ foundations. We will even look at ‘rubble trench’ and ‘earthbag’ foundations. And in case you live in a former mining area where the behaviour of the sub soil is unreliable we’ll be advising on the construction of ‘Raft and Mat’ foundations These will cover most if not all the projects our readers are likely to plan for themselves. We will be discussing what’s most suitable depending on the type of building and the soil, weather and water table conditions in your location. We will go through the planning of formwork and reinforcement, explain how to compact the base, install reinforcing mesh and concrete placements, and advise on connection and placement of columns.
And we will also be considering the most appropriate foundation materials to use, including naturally sourced materials.
Many of our readers will be more concerned with our advice and articles on foundation repair rather that in constructing new ones. So we’d like to hear from you as soon as any such questions arise.