The most important structure of a commercial building is its foundation. It provides security and stability for all other structures. However, commercial foundations tend to differ in design and form from residential ones due to the temperature changes and higher weight loads they have to bear.
This leads some people to wonder what foundation is used for commercial buildings? Below you’ll find some of the most commonly used commercial building foundations. Each option provides certain benefits and varying applications depending on existing construction conditions.
This type of foundation is also called continuous footing or shallow foundation. Commercial building contractors use spot footing foundations for supporting single contact points between a building’s foundation and the underlying soil. These structures are strong enough to carry graded beams and columns.
This foundation type often features a wider than regular footing to distribute the structural load better. It spreads the weight of the building to a broader area, which allows the soil underneath to carry more weight. Apart from increasing the load-bearing capacity, spot footing foundations help to maintain the stability of a commercial building across multiple points of contact. In addition, you can also use posts, piers and concrete with rebars with this type of foundation.
When people ask “what foundation is used for commercial buildings,” they usually have slabs with grade beams in mind. This foundation is the type most commonly used in commercial building construction projects. Contractors opt for this foundation due to its cost-saving benefits.
You’ll find slab-on-grade foundations used in many places with warmer climates and where there’s no ground freezing. The slab features only a single layer of concrete, several inches thick. This concrete layer is laid directly onto the soil and becomes a sturdy and solid base for the commercial building to be constructed later. Further, this design prevents pest infestation, which makes it an excellent option if you’re constructing a commercial building for perishable goods.
This type of foundation is best-suited for construction projects in colder areas that tend to have frozen soil. T-shaped foundations feature more concrete footings placed below the frost line. A commercial building’s walls will be constructed on top of those footings and extend further into the soil’s surface.
Frozen soil can put a lot of stress on slabs, which is why contractors prefer T-shaped foundations for this construction condition. Due to its design, a T-shaped foundation can better distribute this pressure evenly compared to other types. In addition, because of this feature, this foundation type is also better suited for taller buildings.
This type of foundation is also called a raft foundation. It is similar to slab-on-grade foundations, which means different building structures will be resting on a single slab. The difference between these two is that mat foundations are designed to support the entire weight load of a commercial building, whereas a slab-on-grade only provides support for the lower structures.
In the case of a mat foundation, a contractor will install columns to provide support for upper floors. This type of commercial building foundation is best-suited for projects where the soil has a lower load-bearing capacity.
Frost Protected Shallow Foundation
Frost Protected Shallow Foundation (FPSF) offers a cost-effective alternative for construction projects in colder places where the ground tends to form frost. With this type of setup, contractors install insulations on the outside of a foundation. The insulation retains the natural heat from underground and the heat energy generated by the building throughout the day.
Work With the Commercial Building Foundation Experts in DFW
If you’re wondering what foundation is used for commercial buildings and which one best suits your project, consult with industry experts in the DFW metroplex. At HD Foundations, our specialists work closely with you to determine the best type of foundation for your building. Reach out to our consultants today by filling out this form and get a free quote.