Civil Engineering: Shallow and Deep Foundations

Civil Engineering: Shallow and Deep Foundations

Civil Engineering: Understanding shallow and deep foundations

It takes a lot to put up any structure that is classified under civil works, as far as Reddy Kancharla is concerned. Unbeknownst to many, there are loads of detailed work involved in a construction project. This challenges the notion that civil engineering is all a mere bunch of bricks and mortar. Truthfully, it has many complex aspects. One of these aspects is the differentiation between shallow and deep foundations.

Shallow foundations

A shallow foundation is a type of foundation that is placed near the surface of the earth. In other cases, the foundation serves to transfer the load of the structure at a shallow depth, which is generally about 3 meters.

Because shallow foundations tend to be of manageable depth, these do not demand too much on materials, explains Reddy Kancharla. With a smaller foundational structure, it follows that it is cheaper to build, and it takes less time and effort to complete. As this type of foundation is not too deeply rooted in the ground, these are relatively weaker against lateral loads.

Types of shallow foundations include:

Strip footing
Spread or isolated footing
Combined footing strap or cantilever footing
Mat or raft foundation

Deep foundations

On the other hand, foundations classified under deep foundations are characterized by the material being placed at a greater depth, or if it serves to transfer the load to deep strata. These measure way beyond three meters, because they are meant to support more massive structures.

As they are far-reaching into the earth, you can expect deep foundations to eat up a lot of material. The execution of the task of setting these in properly also takes a lot of skilled work. Certainly, these complexities make deep foundations more expensive to build, and as experts like Reddy Kancharla admit, these are rather time consuming.

Deep foundations are meant to withstand lateral loads with a lot of support in its design, and they also resist uplift.

Types of deep foundations include:

Pile foundations
Hollow box foundations
Shaft foundations

From here, a debate might rage on between which type of foundation is better to use, with deep foundations seemingly enjoying a bit of an advantage. However, as industry authorities like Reddy Kancharla would profess, the best foundation to use is the one that is right for the project. Any project can become a success with the proper knowledge and application of shallow and deep foundations.