Foundation in construction

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A skyscraper deep foundation.

A foundation is a lower portion of building structure that transfers its gravity loads to the earth. Foundations are generally broken into two categories: shallow foundations and deep foundations.[1] A tall building must have a strong foundation if it is to stand for a long time.

To make a foundation, we normally dig a trench in the ground, digging deeper and deeper until we come to subsoil, which is more solid than the topsoil that is used to grow plants and crops. When the trench is deep enough, we fill it with any strong, hard material we can find. Sometimes we pour in concrete into the trench, which we strengthen even more by first putting long thin round pieces of steel into the trench. When the concrete dries, the steel acts like the bones in our body to tie the foundation together. We call this reinforced concrete.

Once the foundation has been packed down tightly, or dried hard, we can begin to build the building superstructure.

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Terzaghi, K., Peck, R.B. and Mesri, G. (1996), Soil Mechanics in Engineering Practice 3rd Ed., John Wiley & Sons, Inc. ISBN 0-471-08658-4