A foundation is the structural basis that connects a structural system with the floor. The objective of a foundation is to transfer the load of the structure to the floor in such a manner to allow it to support the requirements that apply to the case, and that comply with the current legal norms.
The service of foundation design incorporates a variety of complementary services such as geotechnical studies, laboratory and in-situ testing to characterize the terrain with the aim to determine the parameters of the design of the foundation. The design will allow to define the type of foundation which is optimal for both the terrain geotechnical properties and the requirements, budget and needs of the client.
The foundations, as a general rule, can be classified as deep foundations and shallow foundations.
A shallow foundation is built at a depth near the surface (up to 3 meters deep). It’s applicable and viable when the terrain is capable of supporting the structural system at a low depth. They are usually built in footings or foundational slabs.
A deep foundation, as implied by its name, is a foundation that are located deep underground to increase the resistance forces. It’s applicable and viable in compressible terrains with low resistance, when it’s needed to support large loads, if the water table is at surface level, among other reasons. They are built in piles until the system can comply with the required resistance.