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Submitted in partial fulfilment of the

requirements for the award of the

Degree of Bachelor of Technology in Civil

of the University of Kerala

Submitted By



KOLLAM 691005

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This is to certify that, this report of the industrial training is a
bonafied report of the work done by SRIJITH BALAKRISHNAN, in
partial fulfilment of requirement for award of degree in Bachelor of
Technology in Civil Engineering from University of Kerala.

Staff in Charge

Head of

Mr. A Nizad


Assistant Professor


Department of Civil Engineering

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Department of Civil

TKM College of Engineering


TKM College of



Table of Contents

Serial No.


Design Parameters
Stages of construction
Site Preparation (leveling)
Site Marking
Foundation Base leveling
Bar bending, Placing and Tying
Concreting of Mat Slab and Beams
Concreting of First Lift of Columns
Preparation of Templates
Placing of Templates and Tower bolts &
Concreting of Second Lift of Columns
Removal of Shutter
Scheduling for Construction
Excavation Plan
Site Plan
Foundation and Reinforcement Detailing &

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As a part of the academic requirements, an Industrial Training
Programme was undergone from April 17 to April 27, 2011. During
the training period, the different stages in the construction of the
Foundation of a self-supporting Communication Tower (cell phone
tower) were closely studied. The construction was undertaken by
the firm, Lakshmi Enterprises, Chennai and the construction site
was Edakkurissi in Palakkad District. The work was completed in a
span of two-and-a-half weeks.
Due to the low bearing capacity of the soil, and since the tower
height ranges from 40m to 75m, usually Reinforced Ribbed Mat Slab
Foundations are used for such tall structures. Mat-slab foundations
are used to distribute heavy column and wall loads across the entire
building area, to lower the contact pressure compared to
conventional spread footings. The mat footing constructed in the
site was of dimension 7.7mx7.7mx3m. The first step in the
construction was plot-leveling, followed by marking and excavation
of soil according to the engineering drawings. PCC was laid to a
thickness of 0.15m to level the base of the trench. Bar bending,
placing and tying of rebar are also done. The foundation consists of
two reinforcement mats. The raft is of 0.35m thick. The
reinforcements are also made for the connecting beams (0.55m
thick) and the four columns that are to be raised. Shuttering is also
done. Concreting is carried out in three stages. On the first day of
concreting, the bottom slab and the connecting beams are
concreted. The next day concreting is done for the first 1.5m lift of
the column. Since the tower is made of steel, the foundation is to be
connected to the tower using tower bolts. So the tower bolts are
fastened to their positions by using templates. On the next day the
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final stage of concreting is carried out. Shutters are removed and

plastering is done. Continuous curing for seven days is compulsory
for any concreting works. As a last step, backfilling of soil and
leveling are done which gives required strength for the foundation
to resist overturning due to seismic and wind loads.

Design Criteria

A Communication tower is a steel framed structure that is used to

support Base Transceiver Stations that
facilitates mobile phone communication.
These are usually self supporting
towers erected either on buildings
tops or on the ground and have a
height range of 50m to 200m. Since these
are very tall
structures, the foundation provided needs to satisfy several
conditions other than the self weight of the structure. Therefore, a
communication tower mounted over the ground is usually provided
with Raft (Mat-slab) Foundation.
Mat-slab foundations are used to distribute heavy column and wall
loads across the entire building area, to lower the contact pressure
compared to conventional spread footings. Mat-slab foundations
can be constructed near the ground surface, or at the bottom of
basements. In high-rise buildings, raft foundations can be several
meters thick, with extensive reinforcing to ensure relatively uniform
load transfer.

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Raft Foundations are stiffened by ribs or beams incorporated into

the foundation. Raft foundations have the advantage of reducing
differential settlements as the concrete slab resists differential
movements between loading positions. They are often needed on
soft or loose soils with low bearing capacity as they can spread the
loads over a larger area.
In the case of a communication tower, a steel framed structure is to
be supported by the Mat slab foundation. Therefore, during the
design of such a foundation, a number of parameters have to be
taken into account. To meet the varying needs in respect of soil
conditions and loading quantum, several tower foundations are
used for communication towers. Design philosophy of tower
foundation should be closely related to the principles adopted for
the design of towers, which the foundation has to support. It should
take care of all the loads such as dead load, live loads, wind loads,
seismic loads, erection loads, etc. causing vertical thrust, uplift as
well as horizontal reactions. For satisfactory performances, it should
be stable and structurally adequate and be able to transmit these
forces to the soil such that the limit soil bearing capacities are not
The Design of the tower foundation has to be carried out as per the
Indian and International Standards. Wind load calculations are done
as per IS: 875:1964 PART III, material standards as per IS 2062 and
IS 8500 and Design standards as per IS 802, 800 and 806. Wind
loads are an important parameter in the design. Winds tend to
create tensile uplift forces in the foundation. To calculate the wind
load, the maximum wind fall in the last 50 years is collected from
the meteorological department and double of that value is taken for
the calculation. Design parameters like diameter, length and
spacing are normally determined to ensure the overall stability of
foundations in a given rock mass, allowable displacement and the
risk of tendon corrosion.
Soil conditions is the other parameter that has to be given due
consideration. The limit bearing capacity of soil, density of soil and
the angle of frustum influence the design values. These soil
properties are normally obtained either by conducting in-situ or
laboratory tests on soil samples collected from the field during soil
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investigation or from available testing record of the area. Limit

bearing capacity is vital from the point of view of establishing the
stability of foundation against shear failure of soil and excessive
settlement of foundation when foundation is subjected to total
downward loads and moments due to horizontal shears and/or
eccentricities as applicable. The density of the soil is required to
calculate the uplift resistance of the foundation. The angle of
frustum is required for finding out the uplift resistance of the

Stages in Construction
Site Preparation (Leveling)
The first step in the actual construction is site preparation. Site
preparation consists of clearing away the trees from construction
site, and doing whatever rough grading that is necessary in the
installation of the footings and foundation. After selecting a suitable
site for the tower (probably an isolated, elevated area), clearing of
the land is done. This involves the removal of trees, roots, and other
vegetation from the site. This can be done using manual labor. The
debris can be removed using a dozer.
After clearing the site, the undulations in the terrain have to be
roughly leveled. Usually a dozer is used for carrying out the
purpose. The cut and fill are balanced so that the leveling work is

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A minor grade is induced deliberately for natural drainage of the

surface. For small works, Manual labor and hand tools are used to
roughly level the plot.

Site Marking
Before the excavation of soil is started, the layout of the structure
has to be marked on the ground. This process is called Site marking.
This is a very important step, because here we begin the
construction part. The slackness made in layout causes extensively
damage to the work and heavy loss to the owner. If a building is
constructed with an inaccurate marking, it can even affect the
stability and aesthetics of the building. The centre line, base line,
etc. are fixed prior to the marking. Using pegs and ropes the layout
for excavation is clearly marked to project the plan on the ground.

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In the case of a communication tower, the foundation is symmetric,

most often square in shape. Here, the dimension of the foundation
is about 7.7mx7.7mx3m. A working clearance of 0.5m in each side
has also to be taken into account. This is for the convenience of the
laborers to work in different stages of construction like excavation,
shuttering, concreting etc. The corners of the foundation have to be
accurately checked for being right angle. For larger projects, this
can be achieved by using a theodolite or total station. For smaller
works, the diagonals are also measured to ensure the right angle.

Excavation is the removal of soil from the surface to form a trench
of required depth in which the foundation is built. Usually a backhoe
or a digger (JCB) is used for this purpose. For smaller works manual
labor is sufficient. The excavated soil can either be transported to
some other place, or if backfilling is required, is dumped near to the
trench or sideways. In the case of a raft foundation for a
communication tower, backfilling is needed. Digging is started from
a corner and is proceeded through an edge. This helps in dumping
of the soil to the sides of the trench without causing difficulties for
the backhoe to move. In case of any obstructions, digging is carried
out manually. But the time required for manual excavation
consumes much time.

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At the site, A JCB digger was employed for excavation work. After
the field layout is marked, a square trench of side
0.5m+7.7m+0.5m was made. By drawings and design, the actual
size of the foundation required is a square mat of size 7.7mx7.7m.
But an extra working clearance is allotted for the convenience of
the workers to carry out the construction at different stages and
also for placing and removal of shutters for concreting. The whole
excavation was completed in a few hours.

Foundation Base Leveling

After excavation of soil, there still exist some minor undulations at
the base of the trench. These may be formed due to the removal of
large boulders, roots of trees, and due to the presence of burrows of
rodents. Before the reinforcements are done for the mat slab, the
base has to be leveled. So a Plain Concrete Mix is used to fill the
crevices (pore-sealing) and undulations. It acts as bedding for the
foundation and as a damp-proof.
The procedure for laying PCC concrete is as follows: first the
excavation levels and dimensions are checked as per the drawings.
The loose earth is then removed manually from the trench. Water is
sprinkled over the base and is rammed my some means. Shuttering
is done using planks and runners if the soil is very loose to avoid
slope failures at the sides of the trench. Then the required amount
of plain cement concrete is mixed in the required proportion and
water cement ratio using a mechanical mixer. The concrete is laid
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over the base to the specified thickness evenly. Mild compaction is

done by ramming and surface is smoothed using a trowel.

At the site, concrete was of grade M10 made using 40mm

aggregate. The cement concrete was laid to a thickness of 0.15m.

Bar Bending, Placing and Tying

In a mat slab foundation, the load is distributed over the mat with
the help of reinforcement bars. Reinforcement bars are otherwise
known as rebars, and are made of steel and are of different grades
such as Fe250, Fe415, and Fe500. It acts as a tensioning device in
the mat slab holding the concrete in compression. It is often given
with ridges or ribs for better mechanical anchoring into the
concrete. The bar bending works are done at site according to a bar
bending schedule or bar bending diagram. It is a comprehensive
representation of cut and bend bars as per the design requirements.
It helps in determining the appropriate material quantities, strength
and cost estimation. Bar bending schedule is used as a guide in
positioning various structural members. Some examples are
bending of hooks, bending of stirrups and ties, meeting point of the
top and bottom bars, bend for longitudinal position of bars. The bar
bending schedule is used to communicate requirements for cut and
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bent shapes from the detailer to the fabricator. The precision in

cutting and bending operations is crucial to ensure appropriate fit
on site and to facilitate necessary anchorage lengths, lap length
and cover.

Rebar cages are fabricated on or off the project site commonly with
the help of hydraulic benders and shears, however for small or
custom works a tool known as Hickey or hand rebar bender, is
sufficient. The rebars are placed by concrete rod busters or concrete
reinforcing ironworkers with bar supports separating the rebar from
the concrete forms to establish concrete cover and ensure proper
embedment is achieved. Cover blocks are provided at 1m c/c
throughout the entire region of concreting before the reinforcement
is placed. The rebars in the cages are connected by tying with steel
In the case of a raft foundation of a communication tower, there are
two mats of reinforcement, one at top and the other at bottom of
the slab. To maintain the interval between the rebar mats, chairs
are placed at 1m c/c throughout. The placing of rebars should be
accurate, because it is the bench mark for the load capacity of the
foundation. Even slight deviations from the design can cause
serious consequences. Care is also taken to provide adequate space
between bars for placing the concrete. The reinforcements for the
four columns that are erected from the mat slab are also done. The
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compression bars are 24mm diameter with 16 in numbers in each


Concreting of Mat slab and Beams

The concreting of the mat slab and the connecting beams are done
on the same day. On the previous day, shuttering is fixed for the
slab and the connecting beams. Wooden or Metal shutters are used.
The thickness of the slab after concreting should be 0.35m and that
of connecting beams is 0.55m. M20 concrete is used for concreting
works. Cement, sand and aggregate are in the proportion 1:1.5:3.
The aggregate is of size 2omm. The concrete is mixed using a mixer
that is placed near to the site. Admixtures are used in a specified
amount. The concrete is mixed and are hand carried to the location.
Concrete is placed in layers of 10cm and is instantly compacted by
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using needle vibrators. Special care is taken to avoid over

compaction. The connecting beams help in keeping the columns
intact and to act as a single unit. The concrete is dumped from a
height not more than 30cm to ensure segregation does not take
place. Over-compaction results in bleeding of concrete. Also it
adversely affects the strength of the footing. Also the shuttering
should stay in its position throughout the setting time.

Concreting of First Lift of Columns

The procedures for concreting the first lift of columns is same as
that of the concreting of mat slab. But it is done in two phases. At
first the first lift, i.e. 1.5m of the column is concreted. Compaction is
done after placing the concrete. Before concreting the second lift,
the tower setting bolts are to be fixed, hence we use templates.

Preparation of Templates

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A template is a steel plate fabricated to fix the bolts in position

before concreting is done. It is a 10mm thick steel plate with four
bolt holes at corners and central circular holes. The tower bolts are
fixed to the bolt holes and are fixed using nuts. The template on
each column is connected to the adjacent ones by using a steel
angle of accurate length. This helps the templates to be in position
and acts as a single unit. Any alterations in position of any of the
templates affect the whole configuration. The markings on the
template help us to appropriately fix the tower setting bolts to the
specified position.

Placing of Templates and Tower bolts and

After the templates are prepared, they are places over the column
reinforcements. The templates are affixed to positions by using nails
attached to some wooden beams The tower bolts are then inserted
through the bolt holes. The tower bolts are of 32mm diameter and
are of length 1.2m, out of which 15cm is thread. The bottom of
tower bolts is bent to right angles for better anchorage into the
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concrete. Shuttering of the rest of the column lift is also done prior
to concreting.

Concreting of second lift of Columns

The concreting of the second lift of columns is done on the next day
itself. The concrete is poured only through the central hole of the
templates provided. So care must be taken for the compaction of
concrete and for not forming any voids inside. The columns should
be concreted to a height of 0.5m above the ground level. It should
be also noted that the tip of the tower bolts are on the same
elevation and on the same line. If there is any deviation, the load
coming on each of the column will be different which leads to
differential settling and ultimately results in the overturning of the

Removal of Shutter
The next day of concreting, the shutters are removed. This is done
prior to concreting.

After the removal of shutters, on the same day, the curing of the
foundation has to be started. Continuous watering is provided for
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the next 7 days. Curing is done by spraying of water. Pooling of

water can be done over the mat slab. Jute bags are fixed over the
columns and connecting beams and watering is done regularly.
Curing helps in the strength attainment and prevention of
temperature cracks.

Plastering is essential for protecting the concrete from the natural
agencies and to provide the structure with a better aesthetic
appearance. Plastering is done using 53 grade cement mortar. A
coat of 1cm mortar is applied over the entire structure and is
smoothed at the surface using trowel.

Backfilling is an important step in the construction. The tower is
always subjected to wind loads and hence chances for overturning
are high. By backfilling, the wind loads are resisted by the self
weight of the foundation. Also it reduces the quantity of concrete
required for the construction.

Scheduling for Construction

The whole construction of the foundation is completed in about 1718 days. The timeline of the stages of construction is as follows:

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Work(s) Completed

Site Leveling, Marking and Excavation

Leveling of the trench using PCC

3, 4, 5

Bar Bending, Cutting, Placing, Binding and

Concreting of Raft and Connecting Beams

Concreting of First Lift of Columns (1.5m)

Bolt setting using templates and Column Shuttering

Concreting of Second Lift of Columns


Removal of shutter
Curing of Concrete by watering




Backfilling of Trench

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