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 Types of foundation

 Factors affecting the selection of type of foundations

 steps in choosing types of foundation based on soil

A structure essentially consists of two parts, namely the super
structure which is above the plinth level and the substructure
which is below the plinth level.

The general misconception is that the structural element which

transmits the load to the soil (such as a footing) is the

Substructure is otherwise known as the foundation and this

forms the base for any structure. Generally it covers about 25-
35% of the total construction cost.

The soil on which the foundation rests is called the “foundation

Objectives of a foundation
A foundation serves the following purposes:

• To distribute the total load coming on the structure on a larger


• To support the structures.

• To give enough stability to the structures against various

disturbing forces, such as wind and rain.

• To prepare a level surface for concreting and masonry work

Types of foundation
Foundations can be can be categorized into basically two types: Shallow and

Shallow foundation: These types of foundations are so called because they are
placed at a shallow depth (relative to their dimensions) beneath the soil surface.
Their depth may

range from the top soil surface to about 3 times their breadth

Spread footings

Combined footings

Strap or cantilever footings

Mat or raft foundation

Spread Footing: Spreads the super-imposed load of a wall or
a column over a larger Area.

Used where the loads are light or there are strong shallow

Spread footing may be of the following types –

Grillage foundation
Strip footing Isolated footing Spread footing
Combined footings : Are preferred when 2 individual column are close to each other. Provided when
bearing capacity of soil is less, requiring more area required under individual footing.
Combined footing may be rectangular, trapezoidal or column-wall.
If the columns carry equal loads, the footing is of rectangular shape, otherwise its trapezoidal shape
Strap or cantilever footings: Independent
footings of two columns are connected by a
beam. The strap beam does not remain in
contact with soil, and thus does not transfer
any pressure to the soil.
Mat or raft foundation: it is a combined footing
that covers the entire area beneath a structure
and supports all the walls and columns.

Used on soft or loose soils with low bearing

capacity as they can spread loads over larger area.

To avoid differential settlement

Deep foundation: They are called deep foundation because
they are embedded very deep (relative to their dimensions) into
the soil.

Their depths may run over several 10s of meters. They are
usually used when the top soil layer have low bearing capacity.

Pile foundation

Pier foundation


Well foundation
Unlike shallow foundations, deep foundations distribute

the load of Superstructure into the ground vertically

rather than laterally.

Soil Types and Foundation
Possible Solutions to some
Problems in Foundations
Thank you