Types of foundation ? definition Shallow and deep ?

What is foundation  and types of foundation?

The structure which transfers the load from entire building along with it’s self weight to the soil is known as foundation.

(with simple definitions let us discuss briefly )

Based on depths,

Foundations are two types :

Shallow foundation and deep foundation

Title :Types of foundation

1.Shallow foundation :

According to Terzaghi (geologist and father of geotechnical engineering )


A foundation which is having depth to width ratio  equal to or less than 1 is known as shallow foundation.

(or) The depth of foundation is less than or equal to 3m is known as shallow foundation.

  • The Load which is transferred by superstructure is distributed to certain level or depth.
  • These type of foundations are Preferred only for soils which have good bearing capacity at shallow depths.
  • Economical and preferred for most of the cases.  
  • Ex : Households etc

Types of shallow foundation :

  1. Isolated footings
  2. Combined footing
  3. Strap footing
  4. Grillage footing
  5. Mat or Raft footing

types of foundation
combined footing
types of foundation
Mat foundation

Note: All footings come under shallow foundation.

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Title : Types of foundation

Deep foundations :

In which the depth to width ratio is greater than 1 are known as deep foundations

(or)  The depth of foundation which is greater than 3m is known as deep foundation.

  • This type of foundation is used when the soil bearing capacity of soil is good but at greater depths
  • These are Preferred when there is water at top strata.                         Ex :  Bridges on rivers,  Construction on loose soils etc…
  • cost of construction is high. 
  • Most of the sky scrappers and tall buildings are built on deep structures.

Types of deep foundations :

  1. Pile foundation
  2. Cofferdams
  3. Caissons
civil engineering study
Caisson foundation
pile foundation
pile foundation

The detailed explanation of these foundation will be discussed in coming Articles. Thank you !

Read Also: Basic building materials every civil engineer must know!

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