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Types Of Foundation In Civil Engineering

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

shallow foundation

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. This type of foundation 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 the foundation is much greater than its width.

deep foundation

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. This type of foundation is generally used in the situation of low bearing capacity of soil or there is a layer of weak soil at the surface.

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.

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 that excavates for the foundation of bridges, piers, etc. This type of foundation is mostly used in bridge pier construction and other structures that require foundation underneath water.

Types Of Caissons:

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

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Comments ( 11 )

  1. nice it is perfect .but also strip foundation is another types of shallow foundation

  2. i am minhaj ansari and i am civil engineer so i want me a fresher job
    plesse inform me

  3. Nice information

  4. I am a assistant engineer in civil and mechanical so I want a fresher job plz help me.

  5. i am civl engineer you can find jobs for me

  6. ahmed mohamed mohamud
    December 18, 2017 at 6:05 am

    i am civi engineering studen i need praticle expriance please help me

  7. good information

  8. Kindly send me your updates

  9. I complete my civil engg so i wana job ..
    Help me

  10. Quadri Hakeem Olushina
    July 18, 2018 at 2:09 pm

    I’m a graduate of Building Technology pls I need job I would be to work with you thnks

  11. Mujtaba khan owais
    August 25, 2018 at 2:23 pm

    Excellent keep it up.

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