There are many different foundation methods that can be used to underpin buildings. The type of method that is chosen will depend upon the age and condition of the building as well as its location and purpose. There are two types: the mass concrete or the roller or tile underlay. Both these systems have their advantages, which we’ll discuss here. This article does not cover foundation, which is a complex topic that deserves its own article.
Mass concrete is a common type of underlay that provide excellent load-bearing capacity, but it is also susceptible to cracking. Steel beams are used to support the weight of people who live in buildings. Although not highly intrusive, steel beams can weaken over time due to wear and tear, which can cause structural damage. In this respect, both these types of foundation are suitable, but the roller or tile system is the system of choice for buildings where the strength of the structure must be taken into account.
Roller or screw pilings are the most common type of underlay that you can find. This system is based on helical piles and screw openings. These are embedded in the ground deep enough that they can be easily removed from the ground. Because they are embedded closely together, the concrete will form an interconnected structure. The soil and the underbelly will pressurize the concrete, which will make it weaker when it sets. However, it will become stronger over time. The result is a foundation that is more robust and stable than it would be if the soil pressure were to simply pass through the holes in the foundations.
Similar foundation-reinforced mini pile method can be used in many new buildings. Known as the mini piled system, this method involves creating a layer of gravel at the base of the floor. This gravel is then mixed with soil to create a very sturdy base which acts as a buffer for the soil and the weight of the building above. You will find that you don’t need as much soil because of the strength of the gravel layers.
The beam method is another foundation reinforcement method. Although the beams are embedded into the ground, this method is very similar to the helical pile system used for above-ground buildings. This method is often used for projects that require large amounts of soil to be placed around a specific area. Bifold beams are the most common form of embedded beam design. Each beam has an inner edge that is supported by concrete and an outer edge that is supported with soil. This results in a frame that is strong and stable all the way around, which prevents any lateral movement.
The final foundation methods we will discuss are those that involve the use of either mass concrete or press decking. Mass concrete underpinning systems are designed to meet specific project requirements. Because they ensure an even weight distribution, they are often used on sloping terrains. While they cannot usually be used in ground conditions, you will often find these systems being used for foundations on flat sites where the weight of the soil may dictate a different method is required.
The last of the foundations we will discuss is the open pile method. This is one of the simplest methods available and can also be the cheapest, but you have to keep in mind that the lower the pile is from the surface it becomes more difficult to manage. The open pile method is normally used on flat sites as they ensure a better and more even distribution of weight. Piles are normally supported by steel decking piles, though concrete pails can be used if the budget allows.
Open top piles are available in parallel or helical bases. Flashings, shoring, and screw pilings are all options. Each of the foundation options listed above can be used to meet different construction needs. There is likely to be one that suits your construction needs.