Just like the feet of living beings serve as the base of their body, the foundation of a building also plays the same role. The foundation of any architectural structure is the prime factor that decides the age of any building. It is a universal truth that buildings with strong foundations keep on standing for a long period. At the same time, the ones with substandard understructure could not bear the load of the whole building leading to their collapse in case of calamity.
So if you want more details about this crucial part of the building structure, this article is for you. We have taken time to write some of the technical details related to the foundation of any structure. It will surely help you, in case you have a plan to build your own house.
What is Foundation and How Does it Impact the Building?
A foundation is that part of any building which is apparently not visible, but the whole structure lies on it, which is important in civil works. Due to gravity and other mechanical reasons, the whole roof load gets transferred to the foundation through the walls. An ideal bottom will be the one that distributes the overall load to the surface, preventing cracks on the walls and roof. So we can say that a well-formed foundation will increase the weight-bearing capacity of the surface. It prolongs the lifetime of the building and ensures uniform distribution of load.
How Foundations of a Civil Structure are Made?
Foundations are generally made through concrete or brickwork, depending upon the nature of the surface in the particular area. Due to the prevailing concept of housing societies and considering the behaviour of tectonic plates under the region, professional engineers are hired to design the foundation’s structure.
Plain Cement Concrete (PCC) is a common thing in all types of understructure. It is used in a specific ratio (1:4:8) and is the same PCC on which the building walls are marked.
Key Factors in Foundation Making
Here are a few prominent factors that must be kept in mind before starting a foundation:
- The surface should have exceptional compaction to remove any air space between particles, ensuring that the structure stands firm.
- Termite proofing spray and watering of bricks is quite necessary as it will prevent any termite attack on the foundation.
- Always use well-cooked brick in the foundation because the whole building load will be transferred here at this part.
- Instead of soil, cement should be used to ensure the strong bonding of bricks.
- The cement mortar created for this purpose should be used within 3-4 hours to avoid substandard material.
- The first layer of mortar should be 10mm.
- Always keep the hollow side of the brick towards the top. So that mortar can fill the space.
- Check each bricklayer’s level by tying a rope.
- To ensure strong bonding of bricks, change the pattern of bricks in every layer. If you place them vertically in the first layer, put them horizontally in the next one.
Repercussions of Weak Foundation
- Fissures in walls.
- Vulnerability of buildings to earthquakes.
- The collapse of the whole structure due to an unlevel surface.
In a nutshell, it would not be wrong to say that foundation plays a considerable role in ensuring the quality and strength of any building. A strong understructure gives a long life to civil structures, while a weak one can inflict serious consequences.
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