6 TYPES OF BUILDING FOUNDATIONS IN COMMERCIAL CONSTRUCTION
A foundation always has to be strong to support a property. Commercial foundations must be built extra tough to handle the greater weights, wider floor areas, and higher foot traffic of retail sites and other businesses.
These foundations consist of multiple concrete footings driven deep underground beneath the frost layer, making them highly resistant to freezing. Walls are then erected on these that reach up to the surface for added support before the slab (usually reinforced by a wire mesh layer) is poured between them.
This is another deep foundation design that transfers the structure’s weight further underground to a plane of hard rock. Piles are usually used where the rock strata is not so far underground to merit a drilled shaft. These foundations provide structural resistance through end-bearing piles that provide toe resistance and/or friction piles to provide load transmission directly into the soil.
The standard style of this simple and economical foundation design consists of concrete poured directly into excavated soil to provide a single surface for construction. Areas that reach freezing conditions may have a floating version laid that doesn’t make contact with frosty ground. The one-piece nature of slabs gives them greater resistance against foundational weaknesses like mold, mildew, and pests.
This design is common in commercial construction and supports a single point of contact like a post, pier, or beam between the foundation and the underlying soil. Spot footings are like a series of mini foundations because they can be deployed as numerously as the structure’s columns demand, and they are made of rebar and reinforced concrete.
This deep cast-in-situ style is also called a Caisson foundation and is designed to carry particularly high structural capacities. It achieves this using either carefully calculated shaft resistance or toe resistance (the level at which the base of a pile resists the earth). Some drilled shaft foundations can descend up to 100 meters and may use both resistance metrics.
These foundations are also known as rafts due to their two common shapes of a rectangle or a circle. These slabs distribute the structure’s entire weight evenly across the site via columns on the upper floors and are well-suited to areas where the soil load capacity is low. Mat foundations also guard against differential settlement (shifting, contraction, or expansion of underlying soil) and allow commercial constructions to include basements.
Every aspect of commercial success rides on the foundation, from supporting the structure to protecting the people and equipment inside.