Have you wondered what is a foundation while looking at those huge buildings around you? Then you have come to the right place. Here we will describe what is a foundation along with the purposes, functions, and requirements of foundations. 

What is Foundation?

Definition: The lowest division of the building in direct contact with the soil, based on which a structure rests or stands is called the foundation. It is the basis of groundwork so the load is transferred from the constructed building to the soil.

The soil in which the foundation is to be built must have the capacity to bear the weight of the structure. So, we can say that foundation is one of the most vital components when considering to construct something at any place. A foundation bed is a ground on which it is to be built. Without the foundation bed of the building being strong or compatible with the soil, it is very likely to collapse especially during natural calamities such as an earthquake.

Purposes of Foundation

Now let’s come to the actual purposes of the foundation.

1. Providing level structure:

Foundation gives the structure the ability to stand on the ground. Without the foundation bed being strong, it is bound to fall. The stronger the foundation, the more stable the structure.

2. Distributing weight of the structure:

Foundation disseminates the weight of the construction over a huge area in such a way that there is likely any possibility of unequal settlement to not cause overload on the soil beneath. So, the load needs to be distributed in a uniform way.

3. Supporting structure against natural disasters:

The foundation is most vulnerable to damage during a natural disaster as it is the part of the building that is in contact with the ground. When the ground shakes during an earthquake, or when high winds blow during a hurricane, the foundation is needs to be able to anchor the structure during those times.

4. Preventing lateral movements:

The foundation blocks lateral movement by laying a stable base for the structure to rest on. The foundation prevents the structure from moving from side to side and also keeps it from shifting up and down.

Functions of Foundation

The major functions of the foundation are listed below based on the purposes:

  1. To anchor the mass of the building.
  2. To dispense load transferred and spread uniformly.
  3. To lay out the lateral stability of the structure evenly.
  4. To erupt movement of soil.
  5. To protect from natural forces.
  6. To suppress the growth of mold.
  7. To provide insulation against heat and cold.
  8. To resist the effects of settlement and subsidence.
  9. To preserve the building from water and moisture damage.
  10. To supply a sound barrier.

Requirements of Foundation

An efficient and high-functioning foundation has some fundamental requirements. Let us look at some of the basic requirements of a well-established foundation.

  1. The configuration of the establishment is done in a way that the foundation can maintain its stability no matter what.
  2. Location is an extreme factor when it comes to selecting the place of the foundation as the area will be influenced by the work taking place and the ground level surface will depend on the soil of that locality.
  3. Based on the soil, the kind of foundation that is going to be used is decided which will be a perfect match in guarding the calculated damages to be taken place.
  4. The foundation has to be durable and not subject to deterioration from water, chemicals, or other agents. It has to be waterproof.
  5. Sufficient size and depth are needed for the foundation which the underlying soil will be able to carry.
  6. The ability to drain water away from the structure to stop moisture damage is required for the foundation.
  7. To withstand the forces of nature, the foundation is going to be made of materials that will not rot.


Please note that the information in Civiltoday.com is designed to provide general information on the topics presented. The information provided should not be used as a substitute for professional services.


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