Strong buildings need strong foundations

    Tension Fabric Building Foundations
    March 10, 2020 | Tension Fabric Structures

    There are a lot of clichés out there about foundations, but they all agree on one thing: it’s best to have a good, strong one. It is, after all, where all great buildings start, and you want to start off on the right foot, or in this case, footings.

    Most of our customers install our structures as permanent structures—only a couple have ever moved them—so the foundation should likewise be considered a permanent installation. That might mean a bit more investment up front, but it will pay off in a number of ways.

    Tension fabric structures, just like pre-engineered metal buildings, are lightweight structures. The most critical functions of the foundation are to ensure the structure remains securely attached to the ground during wind events. It’s also important that the base of the foundation does not push out when snow and wind loads are applied.

    Foundation Factors

    The cost of a foundation is dependent on the building’s size and location. Other factors that influence the foundation design include:

    • Environmental factors such as snow, wind, and seismic
    • Soil conditions
    • Water table
    • Frost depth
    • Weight of the building
    • Collateral loads (e.g. conveyors, mezzanines, HVAC systems)

    A thorough evaluation of all these factors is needed to assess and design the best foundation option for each building. Because ground compressibility can lead to excessive settlement differentials, similar or even identical buildings may require completely different foundations at different sites. That’s why we encourage our clients to consult with a foundation engineer on every project. Their expertise will ensure that you are making good decisions about your building.

    Types of Foundations

    Here are the foundations our crews work with most often:

    • Pier and footing foundations
    • Drilled pier foundations
    • Slab on grade with thickened edge foundations
    • Screw pile foundations with poured pier cap
    • Poured or drilled piers with driven earth anchors embedded in them

    Our building and project design consultants can help talk you through the different options. If you’ve got a project on your agenda, contact one of them right away.

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    Building construction involves a significant investment of money and time. Protect your investment with a stable, sturdy foundation.