The first and foremost part of constructing any building is laying strong foundations upon which the strength, durability and resilience of your project will depend. During construction, this part requires a lot of attention to detail. But is stability the only benefit of a well-built foundation? In this blog, we have pointed out some reasons for you to understand the importance of the foundations of buildings.
Before we get to the reasons behind building strong foundations of the structure, let’s first understand what is a foundation and what are its functions.
The foundation of a building is the lowest part of the structure that sits between different floors and the ground to provide it with the necessary support. It serves various purposes which include distributing the load of the building evenly to the ground, the basis for the vertical construction and keeping the structure upright.
Strong foundations are built by understanding the dynamics of soils, moisture level and weather conditions because these play a vital role in damaging the foundation. The success of high-rise buildings across the world is because of their strong foundations.
Let’s take a closer look at the reasons behind building strong foundations and why experts and real estate developers put special focus on these.
The reasons mentioned below will make you understand why people emphasize on determining the quality of construction before buying a home or office space in a building.
As per the engineers and experts in the construction industry, there are two types of loads that a building must be able to withstand; dead weight and live weight. Dead weight is referred to as the constant weight of the building structure itself that doesn’t change. Live weight is subject to change and is made up of variable elements such as residents, objects, cars etc. The characteristic of a good and strong foundation is that it evenly substitutes the entire weight to the ground.
Not all foundations are made of concrete, instead, it depends on the type and purpose of the project for which you are building the foundation. Some materials used to build foundations of houses and tall buildings include stone, brick, reinforced concrete and treated wood. Materials that are used in the foundations are carefully selected because if these are to decay, questions on the credibility and strength of the building can arise.
PROTECTION AGAINST EXTREME WEATHER CONDITIONS
As mentioned above, the foundation must be able to withstand the dead and live weight. In hilly areas where snowfall is expected, the developers must take that into account as live weight. The concept that a house made up of bricks and stones can withstand weather conditions is entirely wrong because it will not be supported from its base.
Some areas experience strong winds, sand storms and thunderstorms with high-speed winds. In such areas, it is not just about keeping the building erect but also protecting it from the battering of winds and storms. Deeper and stronger the foundations, the easier it will be for a building to survive the test of nature.
Earthquakes jolt the earth’s crust and can result in collapsing the entire structure if the magnitude is higher. Strong foundations of buildings can provide sufficient protection to the entire structure and can save you a fortune and life loss.
It is a common phenomenon that heat travels upward leaving space for cold air. A lot of emphasis is put on the insulation of the roof and upper floors when ground floors and the basement are equally important. Insulation keeps cool air from leaving the room in summers and hot air in winters resulting in lower energy bills. The earth equally gets hot and cold in summer and winter respectively and transmits it to the building from lower levels.
One of the characteristics of materials used in foundations of buildings is that these have insulation properties which can provide a buffer between the colder surfaces of earth and floors. Moreover, these properties of insulation also protect the water and moisture of the ground from entering and damaging the roots of the structure.
Winds and storms are one thing that developers have to keep in mind but some developed areas can be close to rivers and streams which may be feared to flood. In the event of a flood, buildings and homes are feared to be taken away by floods due to pressure and the force of water. However, if foundations of houses and buildings are well laid and made up of strong materials, there is a high probability that they will survive after the flood has passed.
In the case of the areas where the water level of the ground is higher, the soil is moist or floods can be expected, digging a hole in the ground and filling it with reinforced concrete may not be the solution. These things also need to be taken into account so that if the ground below changes, the foundation can provide the required support and keep the structure upright. With the advancements in technology, materials and research and development, solutions to such problems have already been found and people are already applying them.
It is not just about constructing a building that will stand tall for generations but also about the protection of the occupants, their belongings, neighbourhood, investment and reputation of a developer. With faulty or weak foundations of buildings, there is a lot at stake including the integrity of the project and the developer.
Inquiring about the features of a building and its condition is now a norm while buying a home or looking for an office. A minor fault in the foundation can cost you a lot in terms of both money and time. This is the reason why hidden elements of a building are more important than its exterior and design.
In view of the above-mentioned reasons, without the right foundations, your house or building will not last very long putting you and your investment at risk. It is only as reliable as a single crack after which it is only a matter of time before things start to get worse. It is highly important that periodic property inspections by professionals are scheduled to keep yourself updated about the problems of the building that need to be addressed immediately.