Types Of Foundation


Foundation is the lowest portion of a structure which transmits the load into the supporting soil. The main purpose of the foundation is to distribute the total weight of the superstructure over a large area of soil. Various types of foundation are described below which are used in construction.

Types Of Foundation:

Foundation can be classified into two general categories:

  1. Shallow Foundation.
  2. Deep Foundation.

1. Shallow Foundation:

A Shallow foundation is a type of foundation in which the foundation is situated instantly below the lowest part of a structure. The depth of foundation is equal or less than its width.

In this foundation, the total loads of the structure are distributed over a horizontal area at shallow depth below the ground level.

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Classification Of shallow foundation:

  1. Spread Footings.
  2. Combined Footings.
  3. Mat Or Raft Foundation.

Spread Footings:

Generally, spread footing consists of a wide base of foundation for transmitting the load to the soil over a wider area.

Combined Footings:

Combined footing consists of a common footing provided to  two columns which may be either rectangular or trapezoidal.

  • Strap Footing.
  • Strip Footing.

Raft Foundation:

Raft foundation consists of dense reinforced concrete slab which covers the total bottom area of the structure. It is provided in the soil with low bearing capacity where structural loads are heavy.

2. Deep Foundation:

A deep foundation is a type of foundation in which the foundation is placed at a deeper depth below the ground level. The depth of foundation is much greater than its width.

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Deep foundation can be further classified into three categories:

  1. Pile Foundation.
  2. Cofferdams.
  3. Caisson Foundation.

Pile Foundation:

Pile foundation is a type of foundation where a slender member of wood or concrete or steel is inserted into the ground for transferring the load of a structure. The load is transferred to  a stronger stratum by friction or by bearing.

Classification Of Pile Foundation:

Classification Based On function:

  1. Bearing Piles.
  2. Friction Piles.
  3. Sheet piles.
  4. Anchor Piles.
  5. Batter Piles.
  6. Fender Piles.
  7. Compaction Piles.

Classification based On Material:

  1. Timber piles.
  2. Concrete Piles.
  3. Steel Piles.


A Cofferdam is a temporary structure which excludes the water from a given site to enable the construction on a dry surface.

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Classification Of Cofferdams Based On Material:

  1. Earthen Cofferdam.
  2. Rock-fill Cofferdam.
  3. Single-walled cofferdam.
  4. Double-walled cofferdam.
  5. Crib Cofferdam.
  6. Cellular Cofferdam.

Caisson Foundation:

Caisson is a watertight structure made of wood, steel or reinforced concrete which excavates for the foundation of bridges, piers etc.

Types Of Caissons:

  1. Open Caisson.
  2. Box Caisson.
  3. Pneumatic Caisson.

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