Generally speaking, all foundations are divided into two kinds: shallow foundations and deep foundations. The terms shallow and deep refer to the depth of soil in which the foundation is made. Shallow foundations can be made in depths of as little as 3ft (1m), while deep foundations can be made at depths of 60 – 200ft (20 – 65m). Shallow foundations are used for small and light buildings, while deep ones are for massive and heavy buildings.
Shallow foundations are also known as open or spread footings. The open denotes to the fact that the foundations are created by first digging all the earth till the bottom of the footing, and then constructing the footing. During the first stages of work, the entire footing is visible to the eye, and as a result called an open foundation. The idea is that every footing takes the concentrated load of the column and spreads it out over a large area, so that the real weight on the soil does not surpass the safe bearing volume of the soil.
There are numerous types of shallow footings: individual footings, strip footings and raft foundations.
In cold weathers, shallow foundations must be protected from freezing. This is because water in the soil around the foundation can freeze and expand, thereby resulting to damage in the foundation. These foundations should be built below the frost line, which is the level in the ground above which freezing occurs. If they cannot be built below the frost line, they should be protected by insulation: normally a little heat from the building will permeate into the soil and avoid freezing.
Raft or Mat Foundations
Raft or mat foundations, are most frequently used in the construction of basements. In a raft, the entire basement floor slab acts as the foundation; the weight of the building is evenly spread across the whole footprint of the building. It is named a raft because the structure is like a vessel that ‘floats’ in a sea of soil.
Mat foundations are used where the soil is weak, and therefore structure or building loads have to be spread over a large area, or where columns are closely spaced, which means that if individual footings were used, they would touch each other.
Deep foundations use piles which are long cylinder of a sturdy material such as concrete that is pushed into the ground so that buildings can be supported on top of it. Pile foundations are used when there is a layer of weak soil at the surface that cannot support the weight of the structure or building, so the loads of the building have to detour this layer and be moved to the layer of stronger soil or rock that is underneath the weak layer; also when a building comes with an extremely heavy and concentrated loads like those high structures.
Pile foundations can either be end bearing pile or friction pile. These types of foundations are capable of taking higher loads better than spread footings.
In general, the different types of construction projects can be categorized in three: private, state and federal construction.
Private Construction Projects
This is the first type of construction project. Simply put, private construction projects are those that are controlled, commissioned or owned by a private party. These include corporations, homeowners, private individuals, non-profit corporations, other business units, hospitals, privately funded schools, publicly traded companies and more. In other words, anything that is not commissioned by the government,
Private construction projects can come in all various forms and sizes, and this is when it is essential to have a look at the characteristic of the work or service delivered and performed to section private construction into various subcategories, which include the following:
State Construction Projects
Some people can get a bit confused by this term when discussing about state construction projects since it can refer to projects commissioned by a city, county, municipality, public school or any other entity that’s funded by the state. These construction projects are government funded that is not federal and can come in various forms.
State construction projects can be quite traditional projects such as the construction of a government structure or a public school. Or it can also be a more complex project like the construction of a sewer line, highways and a bridge.
Federal Construction Projects
Federal construction project is a bit similar to state projects and just like it, can also come in various forms from really simple and traditional project to the most complex of projects. It can also include similar structures constructed by the state authority such as government buildings, courthouses and flood control projects.
However, the difference between the federal and state projects is on who controls or owns the primary site of the project. Which entity funds the project is not the difference due to the fact that federal funds are all over state and even private project, it is in who controls and owns the project.
For example, if a construction job is done on a state courthouse using the funds provided by the federal, then it is still considered as a state project. But if a construction is being done on a federal courthouse, it is a federal construction project. Any construction being done funded by the federal interstate is normally a state project since the highways are controlled by the state, this also includes state land like the levees, which will always be considered as a federal project because it is controlled by the federal.
Plumbing Projects are any type of construction works which involves the application and installation of any water works within the build. Construction projects and builders have to work very closely alongside many different trades and skilled contractors. As basic plumbing is one of the first human needs in western civilization then it is often considered one of the first or most important aspects of a construction design to get right.
Plumbers, plumbing contractors and businesses operating in this field will always strive to get into the project as early as possible. Experienced developers know this but it often catches out project managers completing a large construction job for the first time. We are affiliated with plumbersportsmouthuk.co.uk who would be happy to provide more advice on this subject.
Concrete Frame Structures
Concrete frame structures are probably the most common type of modern building all over the world. As the name implies, this kind of building construction system comprise of a skeleton or frame of concrete. The horizontal members of this structure are called beams, while the vertical ones are called columns. Construction workers typically walk of flat planes made of concrete called slabs. The most important part here is the column, as it is the main part of the building that carries the load. If a building slab or beam will get damages, the floor area will be the only one affected, but if the column will be damaged, the entire building could go down.
Steel Frame Structures
Majority of steel construction uses a type of steel known as mild steel. This steel is a material that is extremely strong. This enormous strength is a great benefit for the building. Another essential feature of steel is how flexible it is. It can be bent without ever cracking, which is another great advantage especially during earthquake, where a steel building can flex when pushed to one side. Another characteristic of steel is its ductility or malleability. A steel building will not immediately crack when subjected to a massive force; instead it will slowly bend out of shape. In most cases, steel is far better in earthquake scenarios than almost all materials and steel structures rarely collapse.
Wood Frame Structures
Wood frame construction is one of the most well-known forms of building methods for homes in the United States and some parts of Europe. It is not heavy, and allows fast construction without the need to use heavy tools or equipment; it can adapt itself to any geometric shape and there are a wide range of systems and products suitable for this kind of construction. However, it is fire hazard since it is made of wood and not sturdy enough to resist hurricanes and tornadoes.
Load Bearing Masonry Wall Structure
Load bearing masonry wall structure construction was the most commonly used type of construction for huge buildings from the 1700s to the mid-1900s. It is very seldom used today for huge building structures, but smaller residential-scale structures are being built. It basically consists of thick, heavy masonry walls of brick or stone that support the entire building, as well as the horizontal floor slabs, which could be made of reinforced concrete, wood, or steel members. In contrast, most construction today is not load-bearing masonry but frame structures of light but robust materials that support floor slabs and have very thin and light internal and external walls.
Pre-engineered Building Structure
Pre-engineered buildings are factory-built structures of steel that are delivered to site and bolted together. What differentiates them from other structures is that the contractor also designs the building – a practice called design & build. This style of construction is ideally fitted to industrial buildings and warehouses; it is not costly, very quick to erect, and can also be taken down to pieces and moved to another site – more on that later. These structures are sometimes called ‘metal boxes’ or ‘tin sheds’ by laymen – they are essentially rectangular boxes enclosed in a skin of corrugated metal sheeting.