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Old 09-01-2010, 02:51 PM   #1
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Foundation design

I am preparing to build a 65x40 steel building, that will later have a portion of the interior finished into a residence. I have worked with concrete in the area of driveways and highway construction, but never in foundation work. I am trying to decide how I want to design the foundation for this building, that will both be effective and not a budget buster. The area where the building will be built is subject to freezing, so I have to keep that in mind in my design. My first choice if it will work, would be to pour a 18" diameter by 24" deep pier on top of a 24"x24"x8" footing for each steel support beam, and then a 5" slab for the floor. I am guessing that if I do not add a frost footing around the perimeter of the slab that it will heave. Since I plan to build a residence inside, that would be a problem. Another plan would be to dig a 12" wide by 36" deep trench the entire perimeter, and fill it with concrete for a footing. This obviously would be much more work and cost thousands more than the pier design. A third option would be to just pour a slab with deepend edges to accomodate the weight of the building and allow the entire thing to float. Any advice from those that know how these things work, is greatly appreciated.
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Old 09-01-2010, 03:07 PM   #2
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Read up and then call your local engineer
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Old 09-10-2010, 10:18 AM   #3
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This is a relatively large building, and from your description may have heavy loading. I would start by discussing the options with the local building inspector, as you are almost certainly going to need a permit. Many times there are local building codes that apply in addition to state and national codes.

For a structure this large, it may be worth it to hire a geotechnical engineer to design your foundation. There are many different foundation types, ranging from slab on grade, turned down foundation, pile supported structures, conventional footers with floating slabs, and mats. The most cost effective foundation depends on the loading, the frost conditions in your area, the soil type, and the groundwater table. Your local geotechnical engineer will be familiar with your area, and should be able to select an appropriate, cost effective solution for you.
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