Concrete is a remarkable material. It is as strong as it is durable, capable of tolerating 3,000 psi (lbs/square inch) on average but sometimes achieving over 20,000 psi. As a result, it is often used in the foundation of buildings, both commercial and residential. Commercial concrete work can vary depending on the project, but a solid and reliable foundation is always needed. If you’re tackling a steel building project, here are the three types of concrete foundations you have to choose from.
- Floating slabs: Floating slabs are exactly what they sound like. They are placed over the ground without any kind of anchoring, as if they are simply floating. This is the traditional foundation for sheds, manufacturing workshops, garages, and other simple construction projects; it is extremely economical in areas where the need for standard foundations are not required.
- Footing and grade beams: Grade beam footing consists of a reinforced concrete beam that transmits the load from a bearing wall into spaced foundations, such as pile caps or caissons. This foundation work is commonly used in conditions where the surface soil’s load-bearing capacity is less than the anticipated design loads — it needs to be reinforced to handle the additional weight.
- Drilled piers: Drilled piers offer a deep foundation system that is comprised of a large diameter concrete cylinder which has been constructed by placing fresh concrete and reinforcing steel into a drilled shaft (also referred to as caissons, cast-in-Situ piles, and cast-in-drilled-hole piles). Because a single drilled pier can tolerate the load of a group of piles, they are sometimes considered a more efficient option.
Industrial concrete repair and construction can seem overwhelming if you’re new to the construction industry. Attempting to manage the proper concrete materials procurement and logistics tasks can feel like trying to speak another language when you only have the barest of grasps on sentence structure.
Fortunately, there are a number of quality concrete contractors that are able to make those decisions for you. The next time you find yourself staring down the barrel of a steel building construction project, trust a concrete contractor to handle the details.