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# RAFT FOUNDATIONS

1. General considerations:
The raft foundation is a direct foundation, an upside down reinforcement concrete slab.
Situations when raft foundation is used:
 Soils with low bearing resistance or high loads which imply large surfaces for foundations
 Difficult and non-homogeneous soils, where is an increased probability for differential
settlements to occur
 Ground water level which implies the infrastructure sealing
 Vertical elements (columns) which are disposed very closed, inducing difficult construction of
foundations

Constructive solutions:
 Raft foundations thick slab type
 Constant thickness
 Variable thickness
 Raft foundation – with column head on the inferior part of the column (“mushroom raft
foundation ”)
 Raft foundations with thick concrete slab, with incorporated beams
 Cassette raft foundation.

## Fig. 1. Raft foundation- plane dimensions.

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Fig.2. Cross section through raft foundation

## Raft foundation height (Hr):

1 1 
H r      Lmax (1)
 8 12 
Length of raft foundation console (lc):
lc  0,2  0,3  Lmax (2)
In plan dimensions (Br; Lr)
Br  2  L1  L2  2  lc
Lr  5  T  2  lc (3)

## 2. Pressures on raft foundation base:

It is considered that the raft foundation is a stiff slab and the pressure distribution is linear.
We can apply a simplified calculation method:
 Method of reducing/concentrating loads in the raft foundation centre of gravity. The
pressures at the foundation base are determined from the equivalent efforts from the
structure.

## Fig. 3. Diagram of effective pressures at the raft foundation base.

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 Strips method.
It is indicated for general raft where frame structures are used.

## 2.1.Check of raft foundation stiffness:

KG 
 

12    1   2 E s  Lr 
   
Br
2

(4)
1 s
2
E  2 Hr  2 Hr
Where:  - ground Poisson’s coefficient;
s -concrete Poisson’s coefficient;
E -concrete deformation modulus;
Es -soil’s linear deformation modulus;
Br , Lr - dimensions of raft foundation ( in plan);
Hr - raft foundation height.

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KG  (5)
L
B

## 2.2. Method of reducing/concentrating loads in the raft foundation centre of gravity

Actions evaluation:

## Fig. 4. Loads at the raft foundation base.

Characteristic actions:
Permanent:
from structure : Pd ,i   G  Pk ,i
foundation’s weight G f ,d   G  G f ,k
with : G f ,k  Lr  Br  H r   c
Variable:
from structure: Qd ,i   Q  Qk ,i
basement floor: Qdp   Q   Autil  q k 

## Characteristic value for vertical loads according to DA2:

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n n
Vd   Pd ,i  G f ,d   Qd ,i  Qdp (6)
1 1
Bending moments
M xf ,ed  0
M yf ,ed  0
The effect of moments on structure is neglected.

## Pressures at the raft foundation base:

Vd  6  eB 6  el 
pef 1, 2,3, 4   1    (7)
Lr  Br  Br Lr 
M xfed M yf ,ed
Where: e B  , eL  (8)
Vd Vd
M xf ,ed -bending moment at the foundation base for Br length
M yf ,ed - bending moment at the foundation base for Lr length
Vd - design vertical load at the foundation base.

## Check of bearing capacity:

Vd Rd
 (9)
A' A'

The evaluation of soil’s bearing capacity is done according to (12) for drained conditions:
A'  Lr  Br
Rd Rk A'
 (10)
A'  R ,v
Rk A '  cd'  Nc  sc  bc  ic  q ' Nq  sq  bq  iq   d  B ' N  s  b  i (11)
See SR EN 1997-1. Annex D.

## 3. Structural design of raft foundations (reinforcement)

Reinforcement is determined considering that the raft foundation is an upside down slab, loaded
with the effective pressure diagram, supported by the vertical elements of the structure (columns,
diaphragms).

Reinforcement is determined from the moments on the raft slab according to SR EN 1992 and NP112-
2014.
Prescriptions:
 Minimum reinforcement on each side and direction p  0, 20% .
 Minimum diameter min  14mm .
 Minimum distance between bars 10 cm .
 Maximum distance between bars s  250 mm .
 c  25mm .

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Fig. 5.

## Fig. 6. Cross section through raft foundation (reinforcement).

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4. Check at punching shear.

In the area where the loads from diaphragm are transmitted, the checking to punching is to be
developed according to SR EN 1992.
 Ed   Rd ,c (12)
a. If:
 Ed   Rd ,c , there is no need to apply reinforcement in order to overcome the efforts from punching
b. If:
 Ed   Rd ,c , there if required the calculation of specific reinforcement, in order to avoid the
compressed concrete to smash:
Ed  Rd,cs (13)
 Rd ,c - is the design value of the punching shear resistance of a slab without punching shear
reinforcement along the control section considered (pg.100 - Kiss Z.,Onet- Design of concrete
structures)
 Rd ,cs -is the design value of the punching shear resistance of a slab with punching shear
reinforcement along the control section considered.
 Ed – is the design value of the maximum punching shear resistance along the control section
considered. (pg.101 - Kiss Z.,Onet- Design of concrete structures)

The design at punching is done around the control perimeter and is based on a control section.

## Fig.6. Punching area

The effective depth of the raft foundation (d) is equal with the average of effective height on both
directions (dx şi dy):
 
d x  H  cnom  ; d y  H  cnom    ; (14)
2 2
dx  dy
d ; c nom  50mm (15)
2

## The maximum shear stress should be taken as:

'
N Ed
 Ed    , (16)
Ui  d
where d - mean effective height ;

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U i - the length of the basic control perimeter ;
 - coefficient (pg.98,Z. Kiss,Onet- Design of concrete structures)
N ED  Pd  Qd ( axial effort at the diaphragm base)

The value of bearing capacity at shear punching of the slab without reinforcement (νRd,c) is
evaluated according to SR EN 1992-1-1-2004. It can also be taken from the table 4.1 1 (BS 8110)

Punching shear resistance of a slab without punching shear reinforcement, Rd,c (MPa).Tab. 4.1.
Effective depth, d

300 400 500 600 700 800 900 1000a
0,25% 0,47 0,43 0,40 0,38 0,36 0,35 0,35 0,34
0,50% 0,54 0,51 0,48 0,47 0,45 0,44 0,44 0,43
0,75% 0,62 0,58 0,55 0,53 0,52 0,51 0,50 0,49
1,00% 0,68 0,64 0,61 0,59 0,57 0,56 0,55 0,54
1,25% 0,73 0,69 0,66 0,63 0,62 0,60 0,59 0,58
1,50% 0,78 0,73 0,70 0,67 0,65 0,64 0,63 0,62
1,75% 0,82 0,77 0,73 0,71 0,69 0,67 0,66 0,65
2,00% 0,85 0,80 0,77 0,74 0,72 0,70 0,69 0,68
k 1,816 1,707 1,632 1,577 1,535 1,500 1,471 1,477
a
for heights larger than 1000 , calculate Rd,c directly.